Due to the extended heat wave and very dry conditions throughout the county, Missoula County Commissioners will institute Stage II fire restrictions on Saturday, July 17.

Office of Emergency Management Director Adriane Beck provides details.

“On Tuesday of this week, we asked the county commissioners to send an emergency proclamation for wildfire conditions in Missoula County,” said Beck. “As I think you covered we did tip into extreme fire danger, and as a follow on to that, today at the at the commissioners meeting, we asked them to implement stage two fire restrictions beginning on Saturday morning, July 17th.”

Beck provided some background to the commissioners’ decision.

“Essentially, the public needs to understand that we're really trying to do is prohibit activities that could very likely cause a human caused fire. The conditions out there right now are very dry very hot. We have some fire on the ground and our firefighting resources are limited and so we don't want to add any additional fires to the landscape with human activity.”

Beck detailed the restrictions to be enforced during Stage II.

“Stage II restrictions make all campfires prohibited; smoking except within an enclosed vehicle or in an area that is barren, such as dirt, or a gravel parking lot, those kinds of things,” she said. “Operating internal combustion engines between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. are also a restricted activity. In addition, mowing your lawns, using your weed whacker, chainsaws, and those kinds of things. We're asking the public to do those activities in the earlier part of the day when it we still may have some moisture from the overnight hours, and that when you are doing those activities to make sure that they're wrapped up by 1:00 p.m.”

Beck said the county is asking everyone to be hyper vigilant about any activity that might start a fire.

“We just ask that you be very cognizant of striking rocks and those kinds of things, that is anything that can cause a spark can certainly cause a fire and when you are doing those activities, such as cutting grass or out recreating, just be hyper vigilant and watch the area that you've been in to make sure that you haven't caused the fire inadvertently behind you.”

Certain exemptions to these restrictions apply and are outlined in the resolution, which can be found here. 


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