Following requests from the Ravalli County Fire Warden Brad Moen and Emergency Operations Director Eric Hoover, the Ravalli County Commissioners have banned "open burning" in the Bitterroot Valley on private lands. The decision is effective Friday morning, July 13, and will most likely stay in effect until the end of fire season in the fall. Resolution 3758 was adopted after a public meeting July 11. Ravalli County Sheriff Steve Holton said that "camp and cooking fires are still authorized at this time."

The move was anticipated following the open burning ban in Missoula County last week and the continuing 80 to 90 degree daytime temperatures that are predicted to continue for at least another week. Add to that, the hazy conditions that have been caused by forest fire smoke from northern California and Oregon, blown into the valley by the wind. Weather forecasters note that high pressure systems are firmly entrenched over the Northwest. Fire danger on the Bitterroot National Forest is at "Moderate" as of Friday, but the next level will be "High." The nearby Kootenai National Forest entered "High" fire danger recently.

More From Newstalk KGVO 1290 AM & 98.3 FM