HAMILTON – The fire danger on the Bitterroot National Forest has been raised from “Low” to “Moderate” and people are being reminded to be careful with fire.
“We had cool, wet spring weather, but conditions are drying out quickly,” said Fire Management Officer Mark Wilson. “In many areas, spring rains resulted in a good crop of grass that can feed a wildfire when it dries out. People need to be careful when camping, driving in the backcountry and cutting firewood,” he said.
Forest officials note that when fire danger is “moderate”, fires can start from most accidental causes, but the number of fires is usually low. If a fire starts in open, dry grassland, it will burn and spread quickly on windy days.
It should also be noted that with the July 4th holiday approaching, fireworks are not permitted on all National Forests year-round. Violations are punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 or six months in jail.
Additionally, anyone who starts a wildfire can be held liable for suppression costs which can be substantial.
Firefighters are asking for the public’s help in preventing human-caused wildfires. Keep campfires small, and completely extinguish them before leaving camp. The best method is to douse the fire with water, stir the ashes and douse again, making sure that all ashes are cold to the touch.
There are no fire restrictions at this time. To stay updated, visit https://www.mtfireinfo.org/.