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Stage 1 fire restrictions now in effect

PABLO — Stage 1 fire restrictions went into effect Thursday on the Flathead Indian Reservation. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks also enforces the same restrictions throughout most of Lake County.

Until further notice, the following acts are prohibited: 

• Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire or campfire except within a developed recreation site, or improved site. (See list of exempted recreation sites below).

This means charcoal fires in griller, such as a Weber barbecue, are not allowed. Devices fueled solely by propane or butane that can be turned on and off are allowed in Stage 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 cleared of all flammable materials.

Restrictions do not apply within city boundaries, although the city of Polson is also enforcing stage 1 restrictions, which include fireworks. All types of fireworks are currently prohibited in all areas.

Within the reservation, fires are only allowed for cultural reasons (notify Division of Fire in advance if you plan to build a fire for cultural reasons) or in concrete or metal fire rings at the following designated sites: 

• Blue Bay Tribal Campground 

• St. Mary’s Recreation Area

• Dog (Rainbow) Lake Campground 

• Twin Lakes Campground

• Kupawicqnuk (Elmo)

  Tribal Park 

• Vanderburg Camp

• McDonald Lake Campground 

• South Fork Primitive Area

• Mission Dam Recreation Area 

• Lozeau Primitive Area

• Mission Falls Upper Campground  

• Mission Falls Lower Campground  

Hikers and other outdoor recreationists are reminded that campfires are prohibited in Mission Mountains Tribal Wilderness. 

An exemption does not absolve a person from liability or responsibility if a fire occurs from an exempt activity. In fact, the person or organization that starts a fire will be held liable for all suppression cost and damages.

Violating restrictions and closures carries a fine up to $5,000 for an individual and $10,000 for an organization, and up to six months in prison.

For more information regarding Stage 1 fire information and campfire restrictions contact Les Bigcrane or Ron Swaney at (406) 675-2700.

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