Stage 1 fire restrictions taking effect in Flathead, Lincoln, Sanders counties
Campfires prohibited across most of northwest Montana due to wildland fire danger
KALISPELL – Interagency fire managers are implementing Stage I Fire Restrictions that will go into effect at 12:01 a.m., Saturday, July 29, 2023 across most of northwest Montana due to wildland fire danger.Under stage 1 restrictions, building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire is prohibited. In northwest Montana, no exceptions to those restrictions are being made by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and other agencies this year due to conditions. People may cook on a liquid petroleum gas or propane stove that can be turned on and off. Also, people may only smoke within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or while stopped in an area at least 3 feet in diameter cleared of flammable materials. Federal, state, county, and private jurisdictions entering Stage 1 restrictions in northwest Montana include:Flathead National Forest, including Hungry Horse, Glacier View, Swan Lake, Spotted Bear and Tally Ranger Districts to include the Great Bear Wilderness, Mission Mountain Wilderness, and the Flathead National Forest portion of the Bob Marshall Wilderness. No recreation site campfire exemptions.Kootenai National Forest, including Rexford, Fortine, Three Rivers, Libby and Cabinet Ranger Districts. No recreation site campfire exemptions.Glacier National ParkUS Fish & Wildlife Service, including Lost Trail and Swan River National Wildlife RefugeMontana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, including Kalispell, Libby, Stillwater, Swan and Plains Units. State Land & Private Classified Forested Lands.Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks within Flathead, Lincoln, and Sanders counties. No recreation site exemptions.Flathead County – Stage 1 fire restrictionsLincoln County – Stage 1 fire restrictionsSanders County – Stage 1 fire restrictionsLake County – No fire restrictionsGreen Diamond Resource Company – Not allowing fires on their lands.Flathead Ridge Ranch – Prohibits campfires on their lands.Southern Pine Plantation of Montana timberlands in Lincoln, Sanders, and Flathead counties are not allowing fires.Stimson Lumber Company – Not allowing fires on their lands.F.H. Stoltze Land & Lumber Company – Not allowing fires on their lands.Northwest Montana is currently experiencing severe drought conditions including extremely dry forest fuels; forecasts of temperatures above normal accompanied by low humidity, wind, and minimal precipitation; and competition for firefighting resources, as fires continue to burn across the state and the West.The intent of fire restrictions is to reduce fire risk and prevent wildfires during periods of high to extreme danger by decreasing potential sources of ignition. These restrictions will be in place until further notice.Fire managers urge people to use caution while they are out recreating due to dry conditions and fire dangers. As many as 75% of wildfires in Montana are human-caused on an annual basis. The leading causes of fire escapes are debris burning, escaped campfires, and lawn/farm equipment.Never discard cigarettes, matches or smoking materials on the ground.Maintain and clean any logging, farming, or lawn equipment before use.Ensure trailer chains are properly secured to prevent dragging which can cause sparks.Avoid driving or parking your vehicle, ATV, or UTV on dry grass.Debris burning is prohibited in NW Montana during July, August and September.Learn more about wildfire prevention and the latest information on fires in Montana at https://www.mtfireinfo.org.