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Stage 2 fire restrictions ordered as northwest Montana dries out 

Drying conditions and dwindling resources prompted land managers in northwest Montana to impose stage 2 fire restrictions starting Thursday.

“We’re going there because we have over 100 fires up here, including multiple large fires, and if we get another, we have no resources available to put on it,” Kootenai National Forest fire prevention specialist Lisa Osborn said Tuesday. “That means no fires at all, not even in campgrounds. No off-roading, plus the hoot-owl restrictions prohibiting operation of chainsaws, blasting and welding from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m.”

Anyone who performs such work during the morning hours must keep a one-hour patrol afterward to guard against embers or hot spots. Smoking is allowed outdoors only in places cleared of all flammable material, and motorized vehicles must stay on designated roads and trails.

The restrictions affect Flathead, Lake, Lincoln and Sanders counties, as well as the Flathead and Kootenai national forests, Glacier National Park, and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 1 parks and lands.

-- Missoulian

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