Fire season is here.

It's been slower coming to many parts of the state. Parts of Southern Montana received record snowpack, while the northwest corner had a much drier spring. Forest fires are beginning to pop up around the state and it's crucial to be aware of fire restrictions to ensure the safety of our landscapes and communities.

Credit: Montana DRNC
Credit: Montana DRNC

Over 50 fires and thousands of acres are burning or burned.

The above image from DNRC Interactive Fire Map reveals wildfires spread across the state; some are consuming thousands of acres. As of 7/31, fourteen new fires were reported in the past 24 hours.

Montana has witnessed its share of devastating wildfires in the past, prompting authorities to take proactive measures. This year is no exception, and fire restrictions are now in effect in at five counties, Flathead National Forest, Kootenai National Forest, and Glacier National Park.

If you're planning to enjoy the great outdoors, it's essential to stay informed about the specific restrictions in your area. Campfires might be limited or prohibited in certain regions, as even a small spark can lead to disastrous consequences in dry conditions.

Fire restrictions in the following counties:

  • Sanders
  • Lake
  • Lincoln
  • Pondera
  • Golden Valley

Other counties are likely to begin pulling burn permits (Carbon County did on 7/26) and we'll certainly see more restrictions soon. Before setting out on your adventure (or burning brush), check with local authorities or visit their official websites for the latest updates on fire restrictions. A great resource is the Montana Fire Restrictions Dashboard.

Credit: DNRC
Credit: DNRC

Embrace alternative ways of cooking outdoors and remember, there are plenty of other enjoyable activities like hiking, fishing, and wildlife viewing to make the most out of these final months of Montana summer. Montana Talks Aaron Flint caught up with Governor Greg Gianforte last Friday in Columbia Falls, where the Governor is stressing an aggressive attack on this season's wildfires. 

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