Scapegoat Wilderness enters into Stage I Fire Restrictions; Stage II Fire Restrictions in effect for all other Lolo National Forests Lands

Release Date: Jul 16, 2021

Contact(s): Anna Henderson, Kate Jerman, (406) 552-7944


Missoula, MT, July 16— Due to persistent hot and dry conditions, the increasing threat of wildfire danger, and the current and predicted wildfire activity level, the Lolo National Forest will enter into STAGE II Fire Restrictions with the exception of forest lands within the Scapegoat Wilderness on the Seeley Lake Ranger District. All Lolo National Forest lands within the Scapegoat Wilderness (of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex) will enter into STAGE 1 Fire Restrictions.

“With current fire activity and predicted weather, we all need to do everything we can to prevent additional wildfires from starting,” stated Carolyn Upton, Lolo National Forest Supervisor. “We are asking the public to recreate responsibly and adhere to these restrictions.”

Fire restrictions are intended to decrease the chance of preventable, human–caused fires in the designated areas.

  • Stage II Fire Restrictions will be effective Saturday, July 17 at 12:01 a.m. for all Lolo National Forest lands EXCEPT FOR forest lands within the Scapegoat Wilderness.
  • All Lolo National Forest lands within the Scapegoat Wilderness (Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex), located in Powell and Lewis and Clark Counties on the Seeley Lake Ranger District, will enter STAGE 1 Fire Restrictions effective Saturday, July 17 at 12:01 a.m.

STAGE II FIRE RESTRICTIONS: Under the Stage II Fire Restrictions, the following acts are prohibited:

  1. Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire.
  2. 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.
  3. Operating an Internal Combustion Engine.
  4. Welding or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame.

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 in accordance with the Order.
  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.

*Those with a firewood permit can still use a chainsaw, but must cease operations at 1 p.m. This is allowed under Exemption #1, “special use authorization.”

STAGE I FIRE RESTRICTIONS: For all Lolo National Forest lands within the Scapegoat Wilderness of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex on the Seeley Lake Ranger District. The following acts are prohibited:

  1. Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire.
  2. Smoking except within an enclosed vehicle or building; within a developed recreation site or improved site listed in Exhibit A; or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.

EXEMPTIONS

  1. Persons building and using a campfire or charcoal fire within the confines of a metal or concrete fire ring or grill provided by the Forest Service for that purpose within a developed recreation site or improved site. Fires within rock fire rings are not authorized and are not exempted from this Order.
  2. Persons using a stove fire with spark arrestor within the boundaries of the Scapegoat Wilderness (within the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex).
  3. Persons using a stove or grill solely fueled by liquid petroleum or liquid petroleum gas (LPG) fuels that can be turned on and off, if used in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding materials within three feet of the device.
  4. Persons with a special use authorization or other Forest Service authorization specifically exempting them from the effect of this Order.
  5. Any Federal, State, or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or fire fighting force in the performance of an official duty.

An exemption does not absolve an individual or organization from liability or responsibility for any fire started by the exempted activity. With the extreme temperatures the region is experiencing, fire managers are asking the public to be extra cautious when spending time in the outdoors. For more information please visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/lolo or call your local Lolo National Forest office.

For Fire Restrictions information in your area visit: https://www.mtfireinfo.org/.