Starting Sunday, Ravalli County is allowing open burning, starting September 30, but there are some rules. Due to the continuing dry, warm weather, the valley's fire departments are urging caution. As a result, the County Commissioners are rescinding the open burning restrictions Sunday, but those wishing to start some of those fires need a Burn Permit from the statewide permit page or from the Ravalli County Sheriff's app on your mobile device, or by calling 1-866-212-6318. Once you have that permit, you must call or log on and "activate" it on the day you plan to burn. If conditions are not good (such as too windy) the site will not allow activation. The conditions will be determined by the County Fire Warden, with help from Bitterroot Valley fire departments and the Bitterroot National Forest. The new rules start Sunday and will continue until further notice.

At the same time, the Bitterroot National Forest has lowered fire danger from "High" to "Moderate." Fires can still start from most accidental causes, reports Tod McKay, but the number of fires is usually low. However, if you have a campfire, put it out when you leave your campsite. Two more abandoned campfires were found by forest personnel in the last week. If it's too hot to touch, it's too hot to leave!

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