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Stage I fire restrictions issued in NW Montana

| July 27, 2007 12:00 AM

Fire managers for local land management agencies, including the Flathead and Kootenai National Forests, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, Glacier National Park, and Flathead, Lincoln, Lake and Sanders Counties implemented Stage I Fire Restrictions in Northwest Montana on Monday, July 23. This includes the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex (Bob Marshall, Scapegoat and Great Bear Wilderness) lands on the Flathead, Lewis and Clark, Helena and Lolo National Forests.

Beginning Monday, July 23, fire (building, maintaining, attending or using a fire or campfire) will only be allowed in designated sites as identified by the respective land management agency or local county fire organization. Anyone wishing to have a fire on private land should call their local fire chief or fire warden to obtain written permission.

The designated sites where fire is allowed will be listed at www.mt.blm.gov/fire/restrictions/index.html for the northwest area by the end of the week.

Stage I fire restrictions also prohibit smoking, except in 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.

Stage I fire restrictions pertain to all lands within Flathead and Lincoln Counties, plus that portion of Lake County outside the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Lands, plus all lands administered by the Kootenai National Forest, Flathead National Forest and Glacier National Park. These administrative boundaries include portions of Sanders County, west of Whitepine, Glacier, Missoula and Powell Counties.

Anyone causing a wildfire can be held financially responsible for damages and suppression costs. It is anticipated that Stage II fire restrictions may be implemented in the near future if weather conditions continue.

For more information, visit www.fs.fed.us/r1/fire/nrcg/ or contact a local Forest Service, Department of Natural Resources and Conservation or National Park Service Office or your local fire department.