Restrictions announced as fire danger rises
Authorities say the fire danger in western Montana is rising and restrictions will go into effect beginning next month.
Fire officials on Monday said the fire danger is extreme in Lolo National Forest and very high in Missoula County.
Stage I restrictions will go into effect on Aug. 1 for west-central Montana, meaning campfires outside of designated campsites will be prohibited. There also will be no smoking outside of cities unless it is in an enclosed vehicle or building, or in an area clear of flammable materials.
The warnings come as firefighters were trying to keep a new blaze in check near the former Stimson Lumber Co. mill in Bonner.
At least a half-dozen significant fires are burning in Montana, the largest at 9 ½ square miles in the Lolo forest.