Stage II Fire Restrictions


Hamilton, MT, August 11 — The Bitterroot National Forest (BNF) announced that it is bypassing Stage 1 fire restrictions and going straight to Stage 2 Fire Restrictions beginning immediately, due to our hot temperatures and dry fuel conditions. Short and long-term forecasts indicate sustained weather conditions that point to continued, significant fire behavior through mid-September. Under the Stage II Fire Restrictions, No Campfires are allowed in the forest, No smoking, no welding, Chainsaws can only be used between 1am & 1pm and motorized vehicles must stay on designated trails and roads. Anyone caught violating the restrictions could be fined up to $5,000 and face up to 6 months in jail. They may also be held liable for all suppression costs and damages if they start a fire. Visit www.mtfireinfo.org to learn more about current fire restrictions in place throughout Montana.


STAGE II FIRE RESTRICTIONS: Under the Stage II Fire Restrictions, the following acts are prohibited on federally managed or protected lands, roads, and trails:

Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire.

  1. 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 closed of all flammable materials.

  2. Operating a chainsaw or other equipment powered by an internal combustion engine (prohibited 1:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m).

  3. Welding or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame.

  4. Operating motorized vehicles off designated roads and trails.

Exemptions:

  1. Persons with a Forest Service special use authorization, or other authorization specifically exempting them from the effect of this Order. If the authorization allows operation of an Internal Combustion Engine or welding or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame, such acts are prohibited from the hours of 1:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. Outside of these hours; a one-hour foot patrol in the work area is required following cessation of these activities.

  2. 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 flammable materials within three feet of the device.

  3. 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.

  4. Operating motorized vehicles on designated roads and trails.

  5. Emergency repair of public utilities and railroads conducted.

  6. Persons conducting activities in those designated areas where the activity is specifically authorized by written posted notice.

  7. Any Federal, State, or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.

8. All land within a city boundary is exempted.

Anyone caught violating the restrictions could be fined up to $5,000 and face up to 6 months in jail. They may also be held liable for all suppression costs and damages if they start a fire. Visit www.mtfireinfo.org to learn more about current fire restrictions in place throughout Montana.

BNF wilderness areas in Idaho including the Selway-Bitterroot and Frank Church River of No Return are not included in the fire restrictions at this time. See forest map for more details.

The ridge of high pressure that is bringing our hot temperatures is also transporting smoke from wildfires in Idaho, Oregon, and California causing hazy skies and smoke impacts. For the latest air quality information visit http://svc.mt.gov/deq/todaysair. This site displays particulate concentrations and health effects including a daily ‘Wildfire Smoke Update’.

For more information about fires in Montana and other fires across the country, visit http://inciweb.nwcg.gov or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DiscoverBitterrootNF for local fire information.

This summer, there have been 27 wildfires on the Bitterroot National Forest; 9 human-caused and 18 lightning fires.