Fire Restrictions Lifted Across Flathead County

Recent rain and cooler temperatures lowered the fire danger across northwest Montana; Flathead National Forest remains under Stage 2 restrictions

By Micah Drew
A smoke plume from The East Fork rises over Goode Creek Road near Olney on Aug. 18, 2023. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

The Flathead County Commissioners at their Aug. 31 meeting lifted all fire restrictions on county land due to decreased fire danger in the region.

The county, along with the city of Whitefish and interagency fire managers across northwest Montana, implemented Stage I fire restrictions on July 27, which banned campfires, the use of motorized vehicles operating off designated roads and smoking outside an enclosed space.

While fire danger in the region remains high, a storm front bringing cooler temperatures and precipitation over the last days has decreased fire behavior on active blazes, and reduced the risk of additional ignitions.

The Kootenai National Forest, where the East Fork Fire has burned more than 5,000 acres, also lifted all fire restrictions on Forest Service land in Flathead, Lincoln, and Sanders counties on Thursday, while the Flathead National Forest lifted its Stage 2 fire restrictions on Wednesday, according to a press release.