MISSOULA, Mont. - Missoula and Cascade counties are now under stage 2 fire restrictions as of this morning. This comes as wildfires around the state continue to grow, as we're continuing to track those conditions. New regulations are currently affecting recreational activities in our national parks and lands across Montana.
New restrictions means you may need to modify your gear to assure it meets county guidelines in your area. Some fire restrictions include prohibiting a fire or campfire that doesn't meet new requirements. For example having metal rings for ground fires or gas operated stove tops that are protected with metal by themselves.
As a reminder:
- You also cannot smoke in an area less than 3 feet of flammable materials.
- No use of anything with an internal combustion engine between 1 pm and 1 am as these times record Montana's highest temperatures of the day.
These hours also apply to the use of torch devices involving use of an open flame.
It's also important to keep in mind as dry conditions and thunderstorms could ingite fires in these weather circumstances.
Right now, city fire officials don't have an end date for how long these fire restrictions will remain in place.
"It's going to be a long summer, could be smoky for a while, but hopefully people are just careful and using common sense and following the restrictions and hopefully that will keep everybody safe as safe as possible," said fire expert Jason Hedahl.
If you're unsure if you have the proper equipment, before you head out, check in with your local recreational store to assure, you're geared up with the necessary materials.