Whitefish Issues ‘Fire Advisory’ Amid Dry Conditions

Restrictions on fires within city limits expected if dry, hot weather continues

By Justin Franz
Crews work to contain the Lazier Creek Fire near Middle Thompson Lake on July 10, 2017. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

The City of Whitefish says it “will likely” issue fire restrictions in the coming days as the danger for wildfires continues to rise across the region.

On Friday, Whitefish released a “fire advisory” saying Stage II fire restrictions were going to be implemented if dry weather continues to impact the area. Earlier this week, Flathead County enacted similar restrictions on private land.

Stage II fire restrictions prohibits campfires, smoking outside, the use of fireworks or the use of a motorized vehicle off of designated trails or roads, expect for purposes of trade and business but only if there are fire extinguishers present. The operation of any internal combustion machine, welding or use of explosives are prohibited between 1 .m. and 1 a.m.

Public lands within Flathead County have already enacted Stage II fire restrictions. Those include Flathead National Forest, the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation lands, Glacier National Park, and Lincoln, Missoula, Lake, and Sanders counties.

The Stage II restrictions will stay in place in Flathead County until removed by the commission.

While wildfires are raging across much of the state, there are no major active fires in Northwest Montana at this time. The area’s largest fire so far, the Lazier Creek 3 Fire west of Kalispell, was contained earlier this month. Area firefighters have been busy however and according to the Flathead County Office of Emergency Services have responded to 219 fires since July 1, the vast majority of which have been human-caused.