As spring comes to the high country, firewood gatherers are headed to the national forests to replenish their supply for next winter.

Lolo National Forest spokesman Boyd Hartwig said Monday "we have five ranger districts and they all sell permits." "The permits," Hartwig said, "contain all the information you'll need, including where you're allowed to cut firewood".

Hartwig recommends the Lolo Creek area, but said there's still quite a bit of snow up in the higher terrain. "There's a lot of forest roads up there with good access," Hartwig said. He added "the folks at the ranger district will give you good advice as to where to go".

Hartwig warned that "there's no cutting allowed within 150 feet of a riparian area, or any creeks," he added. He also said any dead trees, whether standing or fallen , are fair game for firewood gatherers.

Firewood permits are $20 each, and are available at any Lolo National Forest office.

Lolo National Forest spokesman Boyd Hartwig