If you're ready for some cool-down time in the woods or your favorite campground, we have a totally expected update for you.

To the shock and amazement of no one, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, in conjunction with the Bitterroot National Forest and other agencies, announced this morning (Friday) that Ravalli County has entered Stage II Fire Restrictions. While the first thing that usually comes to mind is banned campfires, there are a number of other components to these restrictions that hopefully outdoor enthusiasts will observe.

This is an all-encompassing directive to which Montana FWP is adhering, following the guidelines of Ravalli County authorities. All state parks, fishing access sites and wildlife management areas in Ravalli County are under Stage II restrictions. And until there is a significant long-term change in conditions, Stage II it is.

Per statewide policy, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks prohibits the following under Stage II restrictions at its sites:

>The building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire.

>Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or closed of all flammable materials.

>From 1:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m., operating a chainsaw or other equipment powered by an internal combustion engine is prohibited.

>Operating motorized vehicles off designated roads and trails.

One minor exception, FWP allows the use of liquid petroleum gas or propane stoves, as long as they can be turned on and off.

Please, folks. The last thing anyone wants or needs is more smoky, hazy skies as the result of careless human error. And if you encounter others who are violating any of these restrictions, please report them immediately.

If you'd like to know more about fire restrictions, visit the Montana Department of Natural Resources "Fire Info" page here.

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