Fire Managers Implementing Stage 2 Fire Restrictions for Kootenai

Submitted by Larona Rebo, USFS

Interagency fire managers are implementing Stage 2 Fire Restrictions that will go into effect at 12:01am Saturday, August 5th, 2023, across the Flathead National Forest, Kootenai National Forest, Glacier National Park, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation – Northwestern Land Office, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Region 1, and Lake County, Lincoln County, Flathead County, and Sanders County. Northwest Montana is currently in Extreme Fire Danger and experiencing drought conditions contributing to extremely dry forest fuels. Forecasts for above normal temperatures accompanied by low humidity, increased wind, and minimal precipitation all contribute to Extreme Fire Danger.

Competition for firefighting resources increases as the number of fires burning across the State and the West rise. When the fire danger is “Extreme”, fires of all types start quickly and burn intensely. Small fires become big fires much faster than at the “very high” fire danger level. Spot fires are probable, with long-distance spotting likely. These fires are very difficult to fight and may become very dangerous and often last for several days.

Please refer to the appropriate Fire Restrictions Order for the land you are visiting and for a complete list of what is and isn’t allowed. Federal, State, and Private jurisdictions under Stage 2 restrictions include:

Flathead National Forest, including Hungry Horse, Glacier View, Swan Lake, Spotted Bear and Tally Ranger Districts to include the Great Bear Wilderness, Mission Mountain Wilderness, and the Flathead National Forest portion of the Bob Marshall Wilderness, Kootenai National Forest, including Rexford, Fortine, Three Rivers, Libby and Cabinet Ranger Districts,

Glacier National Park, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, including Kalispell, Libby, Stillwater, Swan and Plains Units. Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, Region 1 within Flathead County, Lake County, Lincoln County, Sanders County. Flathead County – Stage 2 fire restrictions. Lake County – Stage 2 fire restrictions . Lincoln County – Stage 2 fire restrictions. Sanders County– Stage 2 fire restrictions. Green Diamond – are not allowing campfires on their lands. Flathead Ridge Ranch – prohibits campfires on their lands. Southern Pine Plantation of Montana – are not allowing campfires.

Stimson Private Timber Company – are not allowing campfires on their lands. Stoltze Timber Company – are not allowing campfires on their lands *August 7th Stoltze will close their land to public access of any kind Stage 2 Fire Restrictions Prohibit: The Following Acts Are Prohibited Until Further Notice:

  1. Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire. EXEMPTION: Persons using a device solely fueled by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels that can be turned on and off. Such devices can only be used in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding materials within three feet of the device.
  2. 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 cleared of all flammable materials.
  3. The following acts are prohibited between 1:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m., and a one-hour foot patrol in the work area is required following the cessation of all activities as identified below: Operating any internal combustion engine. o EXEMPTIONS: Operating generators with an approved spark arresting device within an enclosed vehicle or building or in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within three feet of the generator. Welding or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame. Using an explosive.
  4. Operating Motorized vehicles off designated roads and trails. OTHER EXEMPTIONS: Persons conducting activities in those designated areas where the activity is specifically authorized by written permit that specifically authorizes the activity. Any Federal, State, or local officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty. All land within a city boundary is exempted. *Review local ordinances specific to jurisdiction. Other exemptions unique to each agency/tribe. Violations: 1) You could be fined up to $5,000 individually or $10,000 for an organization and imprisoned up to 6 months for violating restrictions and closures. 2) You can be held liable for all suppression costs and damages if you start a fire.

For current wildfire and restrictions information please visit: Know your risk and do your part to prevent accidental wildfire ignitions this summer. Never discard cigarettes, matches or smoking materials on the ground. Maintain and clean any logging, farming, or lawn equipment before use. Ensure trailer chains are properly secured to prevent dragging which can cause sparks. Avoid driving or parking your vehicle, ATV, or UTV on dry grass. Debris burning is prohibited in NW Montana during July, August and September

CARD’s Big Sky Bash 10th Anniversary Concert Fundraiser a Success

By Ashley South


The  CARD Clinic held their 10th Anniversary Concert Fundraiser at  J. Neils Park in Libby on August 5th, 2023. Their was a line of excited participants at the gate waiting for the 5:30 p.m. opening. Food vendors lined the park loop as well as education booths. “This was the first Big Sky Bash in 3 years, and it was successful.” said Curtis Brooner of the CARD Clinic.

Hundreds of people gathered for the main event, multi-platinum country artist, Joe Nichols Headlined The Big Sky Bash concert . Nichols’ first smash hit was “The Impossible” in 2002 and he has since had over 14 top 40 singles. Other chart-topping Nichols’ hits have included “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off”, “Brokenhearstville”, and “Sunny and 75”. At age 46, Nichols continues to release new music with his most recent album featuring “Good Day for Living” released in February of 2022.

Tickets were available at multiple business locations across Lincoln County. VIP tickets were available this year, providing a preferred seating area separated from the general admission area, a separate bar area, and snack tables. There was a VIP-only raffle drawing for an autographed guitar signed by Joe Nichols and meet and greet sessions with both the opening band Jay Snow and the Tone Keepers and the after party band The Zach Cooper Band.

Multiple sponsors from local businesses and community members, and volunteers made the event possible. The fundraising efforts help the CARD Clinic provide care for patients who have or potentially have Asbestosis Related Disease.

Kootenai River Stampede Rodeo

By Brooklynn Reid

The Kootenai River Stampede Rodeo was a huge success once again. The event was held between July 29th through July 29th at J.Neil’s park in Libby Montana. This rodeo was a great time, for families and friends to gather around and watch the events unfold. Many local merchant and food booths attended with an array of amazing crafts that ranged from homemade earrings to spin-‘em-clothes. Let’s not forget the food! They had loads of food, pretzels, hamburgers, barbeque, ,popcorn, coffee stands, and freeze dried candy.

You name it and they had it! From bull riding to barrel racing or the Bronx, was going on throughout the night. The cowboys and cowgirls put on a show with cattle roping and steer wrestling.

“I thought it was very entertaining, I loved all of the shops and the food was very good.” said Tana grant. Zach Morrison’s show was a hit, drawing a large crowd. This annual event will continue to grow over the years and bring a unique perspective of entertainment to Lincoln County.

Bears ‘N Stuff Quilt Winner

Submitted By Cyrus Lee


Brendan Hunter bought his lucky ticket for the Dragon Quilt at the August 4th Libby Farmers’ Market.  This one-of-a-kind piece of fabric art was created at the Sustainable Practices Lab at Washington State Penitentiary.  Raffle, the ‘Denning’ of the little prison bears, purchases of other handmade art, along with out-of-pocket donations keep Bears ‘n Stuff’s donations to local needs going!

This season Bears ‘n Stuff has helped Lincoln County Crisis Solutions, The Basic Needs Store, and the Libby Food Pantry as well as supporting the Trevor Project.  In the coming weeks, the bears will be putting more contributions to work making local differences.   Denned bears make their way to lift the spirits of children and seniors via local agencies and facilities.

Check out the artwork and bears at the next Libby and Troy Farmers’ Markets.  Learn about what Bear’s ‘n Stuff is about from one of our wranglers.  Bears ‘n Stuff is available to present our program and how we make a difference to your organization or church.  Contact Cyrus Lee at 406-293-9630  or email follow us at Bears ‘n Stuff on Facebook.