KALISPELL — State wildlife officials have announced that due to worsening fire danger, campfires are banned -- and other fire restrictions are taking effect -- at all Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) sites in northwest Montana, effective July 17, 2021.
All private, state, and Kootenai National Forest lands within Lincoln, Sanders, and Lake counties will be covered by the Stage 2 restrictions.
FWP is enacting restrictions on its properties in conjunction with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, Kootenai National Forest, and each of the three Board of County Commissioners, which issued emergency proclamations this week, according to a news release.
The following acts are prohibited under Stage 2 fire restrictions:
- Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire.
- 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.
- Operating motorized vehicles off designated roads and trails.
- The following acts are prohibited from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m.:
- Operating any internal combustion engine.
- Welding, or operating acetylene or other torch with an open flame.
- Using an explosive.
All private, state, and Flathead National Forest lands within Flathead County are entering Stage 1 fire restrictions.
Stage 1 restrictions ban campfires except where specifically exempted and allow smoking only in vehicles and areas 3 feet in diameter that are cleared of flammable materials.
Agency spokesman Dillon Tabish noted FWP is not exempting any of its sites in Flathead County, therefore banning campfires. FWP is enacting restrictions in conjunction with the Flathead Board of County Commissioners and Flathead National Forest.
Devices fueled solely by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels that can be turned on and off are still allowed but only in areas that are barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within 3 feet of the device.
Generators with an approved spark arresting device are allowed 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.
All fires are also currently prohibited on property owned by Green Diamond Resource Company, SPP Montana, Stimson Lumber, F.H. Stoltze Land & Lumber Co., and Flathead Ridge Ranch.
Stage 2 fire restrictions are taking effect at all FWP sites within Lake, Lincoln, and Sanders counties, including:
- Lake Mary Ronan State Park
- Big Arm State Park
- Finley Point State Park
- Yellow Bay State Park
- Wild Horse Island State Park
- Thompson Falls State Park
- Thompson Chain of Lakes State Park
- Logan State Park
- Island Lake Fishing Access Site
- Glen Lake Fishing Access Site
- Sophie Lake Fishing Access Site
- Tetrault Lake Fishing Access Site
Stage 1 fire restrictions are taking effect at all FWP sites within Flathead County without exemptions, including:
- Wayfarers State Park
- West Shore State Park
- Whitefish Lake State Park
Individuals can be fined up to $5,000 or $10,000 for an organization and imprisoned up to 6 months for violating restrictions and closures. Individuals can be held liable for all suppression costs and damages for starting a fire.