In the last week, crews from the Bitterroot National Forest were called out to 14 lighting-caused fires. The frequent storms (see photo above) intensified Friday, but the weather calmed down for the rest of the weekend. Bitterroot National Forest Fire Management Officer Mark Wilson told Ravalli County Commissioners Monday morning, August 5, that the forest is under "full suppression" responses to the fires and were all extinguished or have shown no signs of further burning. He said Idaho's Nez Perce-Kootenai National Forest has two forest fires - one in their Moose Creek area and the other near Ranger Peak. There's a fire in the Frank Church Wilderness, southwest of the valley in the Wood Hump area that is not showing much activity. Wilson said the Bitterroot fire danger remains "High" and fuel and moisture levels are about average for this time of year. Missoula County is now at "Very High" fire danger.

Hamilton Fire Chief Brad Mohn told the commissioners that two instances of open burning were stopped this weekend. Ravalli County banned all open burning last Wednesday, July 31. Campfires are allowed, but use extreme caution and make sure the coals are cool to the touch when you leave your campsite.

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