Forest Closures lifted,
Restrictions in effect


September 7, 2000
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana

(Editor's note: with some needed rain and colder temperatures, forests in Montana have reopened in most areas of Western Montana. These forests were closed to the public recently when the threat of forest fires was extremely high.)


Northern Regional Forest Dale Bosworth approved removing closures for National Forests in the central, northwest and southwest areas of Montana. This decision effectively reopens 16 million acres of National Forest System lands in Montana. Lower level restrictions will remain in effect in all areas. The restrictions went into effect at noon on Tuesday, September 5.

Northwest and Southwest Zones in Montana, which includes the Lolo National Forest, moved into Level 3 Restrictions. This level of restriction allows campfires and charcoal fires in developed/designated recreation sites and campgrounds only. Hoot Owl Logging is allowed from 1:00 a.m. till 1:00 p.m. Level 3 restricts smoking, and off-road vehicles can travel on Forest Development Roads (FDRs), but there is no travel allowed off roads.

Montana's Central Zone will move into Level 4 Restrictions. At this level of restriction: 1.) All fires (campfire, charcoal fires and stove fires) are prohibited. 2.) Smoking is restricted. 3.) Woods operations are not allowed. 4.) Off-road vehicles can be used only on Forest Development Roads.

The Eastern Zone in Montana will remain in Level 4 Restrictions.

Coordinated restrictions are in place on public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs and State of Montana as well as private elands.

Specific areas within National Forests may be closed due to firefighter and public safety concerns presented by current active fires.

Specific questions about local exceptions should be directed to the appropriate Forest Service office.

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