The Bitterroot National Forest has moved the fire danger to "Very High" as of Tuesday, June 30.

In a news release, Joni Lubke reported that the next step will be Stage 1 Fire Restrictions. The forest moved to "High" fire danger only a week ago.

Forest Fire Management Officer Mark Wilson said, "With high temperatures and weather forecast, the Bitterroot National Forest is anticipating moving to Stage 1 Fire Restrictions on Friday (July 3)."

Those restrictions will prohibit campfires unless they are in campfire rings in developed campground sites. Smoking is prohibited, except in an enclosed vehicle, building or developed recreation site or while stopped in an area three feet in diameter that is cleared of all flammable materials.

Fireworks are prohibited at any time on national forest land.

Officials said that with current conditions, fires will start easily and spread rapidly. Add to that a weather forecast for continued hot, dry weather.

West of the Bitterroot Valley, forest fires have been reported in Idaho and Washington state.

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