Bill Walker posted the following on the North Fork Classifieds and we thought it worthwhile repeating here…
“Why Aren’t you Going into Fire Restrictions?”
As you might have heard, fire danger on the Flathead National Forest has been elevated to Extreme, along with much of Northwest Montana. Some surrounding National Forests and land management agencies have instituted restrictions to fires, but the area around Kalispell, including Glacier National Park, has not – yet! (But be sure to keep up-to-speed at https://firerestrictions.us/ before every adventure, because things can change!).
“Why aren’t you putting restrictions in place?” we have members of the public asking.
The decision on whether to go into fire restrictions are complex, and involves a number of people, including fire personnel, surrounding land management agencies, local emergency services, and more. Fire restrictions impose many limitations on the public, and are only instituted after all other prevention measures have been taken, or when our Initial Attack availability starts to get stretched out by either natural or human caused fires.
So far this year, the public has been amazing in preventing human-ignited fire, and as of now staffing levels are sufficient to handle new starts. Of course, all of that could change quickly, but for now the decision is to not impose restrictions and instead keep spreading the prevention message and encouraging the public to practice self-restriction by limiting unnecessary campfires, and being extra-vigilant in preventing fires from other sources, including vehicles, target shooting, use of chainsaws and other equipment, and smoking.
How can you help? You can help by sharing our prevention messages, both on social media and with your friends. Read the messages and learn about taking measures yourself to limit potential ignition sources, whether that means cooking on propane instead of a campfire or charcoal barbeque, shutting down your chainsaw before the day heats up, and not driving on or parking on dry grass.
Learn, share, educate, and always remember: #OneLessSpark!