KALISPELL - Stage 2 Fire Restrictions will go into effect across much of Northwest Montana beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2023.
Fire officials note that Northwest Montana is currently in Extreme fire danger and experiencing drought conditions contributing to extremely dry forest fuels.
Forecasts for above-normal temperatures accompanied by low humidity, increased wind, and minimal precipitation all contribute to Extreme fire danger.
When the fire danger is "Extreme", fires of all types start quickly and burn intensely. Small fires become big fires much faster than at the "very high" fire danger level. Spot fires are probable, with long-distance spotting likely. These fires are very difficult to fight and may become very dangerous and often last for several days.
Federal, State, and Private jurisdictions under Stage 2 restrictions 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.
- Kootenai National Forest, including Rexford, Fortine, Three Rivers, Libby and Cabinet Ranger Districts.
- Glacier National Park
- US Fish & Wildlife Service
- Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, including Kalispell, Libby, Stillwater, Swan and Plains Units.
- Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, Region 1 within Flathead County, Lake County, Lincoln County, Sanders County.
- Flathead County – Stage 2 fire restrictions
- Lake County – Stage 2 fire restrictions
- Lincoln County – Stage 2 fire restrictions
- Sanders County– Stage 2 fire restrictions
- Green Diamond - are not allowing campfires on their lands
- Flathead Ridge Ranch - prohibits campfires on their lands
- Southern Pine Plantation of Montana - are not allowing campfires
- Stimson Private Timber Company - are not allowing campfires on their lands
- Stoltze Timber Company - are not allowing campfires on their lands. On Aug. 7, Stoltze will close their land to public access of any kind
Stage 2 Fire Restrictions Prohibit:
- Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire.
- EXEMPTION: Persons using a device solely fueled by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels that can be turned on and off. Such devices can only be used in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding materials within three feet of the device.
- Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
- The following acts are prohibited between 1:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m., and a one-hour foot patrol in the work area is required following the cessation of all activities as identified below:
- Operating any internal combustion engine.
- Operating generators with an approved spark-arresting device within an enclosed vehicle or building or in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within three feet of the generator.
- Welding or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame.
- Using an explosive.
- Operating Motorized vehicles off designated roads and trails.
- Persons conducting activities in those designated areas where the activity is specifically authorized by written permit that specifically authorizes the activity.
- Any Federal, State, or local officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.
- All land within a city boundary is exempted. *Review local ordinances specific to jurisdiction.
- Other exemptions unique to each agency/tribe.
- You could be fined up to $5,000 individually or $10,000 for an organization and imprisoned up to 6 months for violating restrictions and closures.
- You can be held liable for all suppression costs and damages if you start a fire.
For current wildfire and restrictions information visit https://www.mtfireinfo.org/.
Know your risk and do your part to prevent accidental wildfire ignitions this summer.
- 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.