Fire restrictions being lifted across Northwest Montana
A campfire burns at West Shore State Park on Flathead Lake in this file photo. (Matt Baldwin/Daily Inter Lake)
| August 24, 2021 3:00 PM
Fire restrictions are being lifted across much of Northwest Montana as recent rain and cooler temperature have brought much-needed moisture to forest vegetation and reduced the threat of wildfires, though some restrictions will remain in place, officials said Tuesday.
Debris burning will remain prohibited until Oct. 1.
Private timberlands owned by Flathead Ridge Ranch, Stimson Lumber, and F.H. Stoltze Land and Lumber are reopening to the public on Wednesday, and lands owned by Green Diamond Resource Co. and SPP Montana will reopen on Friday. Campfires on those lands will remain prohibited.
Stage II restrictions — which prohibit campfires and place strict limits on smoking and other activities — are being lifted Wednesday throughout Glacier National Park; the Kootenai and Flathead national forests; lands managed by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks; and Flathead, Lake and Lincoln counties.
Restrictions will be lifted Wednesday and Thursday on lands managed by the state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, and Thursday in Sanders County.
No changes were announced to Stage II restrictions in the cities of Kalispell, Whitefish or Columbia Falls.
A map and more details of the restrictions currently in effect can be found at mtfireinfo.org.
Fire officials had warned last week that temperatures were forecast to rise again near the end of the month, drying out the landscape and potentially encouraging wildfire growth.
On Tuesday, officials said those spending time outdoors should bring the proper tools to extinguish a campfire, such as buckets and shovels to drown and stir a fire until it's completely out. If a fire pit is too hot to touch, they said, it's too hot to leave.