Fire Restrictions to be Lifted Across Northwest Montana

Stage II fire restrictions will be rescinded Wednesday

By Justin Franz
Smoke fills the Lake Koocanusa area near West Kootenai on Sept. 6, 2017. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

As rainfall continues to suppress wildfires across the region, local officials are rescinding Stage II fire restrictions that have been in place across Northwest Montana for nearly two months.

Fire restrictions will be lifted at 12:01 a.m., Wednesday in Flathead, Lake, Lincoln and Sanders counties, according to the Northern Rockies Coordination Group. The area includes Glacier National Park, Flathead and Kootenai national forests, Montana Department of Natural Resources land, and Stimson, Stoltze and Weyerhaeuser lands.

While fire season is not yet over, residents will again be able to have campfires, use combustion engines and travel off road. Open burn season is not in effect until Oct. 1.

“Cooperating agencies would like to sincerely thank the public for their vigilance in fire prevention this season and remind residents that, while recent rain across the area has affected forest fuel conditions and aided fire suppression efforts, long term forecasts predict a warm dry fall,” officials stated on Tuesday. “Please continue to take care, as it will take time for critically dry forest fuels to rebound from the historically low moistures of this summer.”

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