Be safe with campfires on Labor Day

Montana fire managers ask for vigilance this weekend

As Montana heads into fall, fire danger remains critically high.

With plenty of camping still to enjoy, Montanans need to be aware that major forest fires can be triggered by campfires, forest managers warn. Fire managers are reminding people that fire danger remains 'very high' for Flathead County and surrounding areas.
 bear creek fire in montana, near Lemhi Pass area (29 miles east of Salmon, Idaho), montana living

The Bear Creek fire is at almost 12,000 acres and is burning near Lemhi Pass.

Despite a slight cooling and some rain, fires are still starting easily and firefighters are responding to multiple escaped campfires each week.

Heading into Labor Day Weekend, the public should continue to carry enough water to completely drown campfires and secure chains that may be dragging behind vehicles. Smokers should only smoke in areas without leaves or twigs nearby, and never extinguish cigarettes in forested areas.

“We are still critically dry,” saidRick Connell, Flathead National Forest Fire Management Officer, said. “What moisture we are receiving is drying quickly. With fall approaching, cold fronts bring higher winds which can also cause significant fire spread. Now is not the time to let down our guard.”
Nationally, the firefighting community remains at planning level 5, which means that firefighting resources are in high demand, and requests for additional resources may not be able to be filled.

When planning trips to public lands, people should be aware that there are some fires currently burning in remote parts of northwest Montana.

More information about fires, updated associated trail or area closures, and predictions about smoke impacts to communities can be found on InciWeb.

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