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Bitterroot remains dry, despite recent rains 

Storms have been rolling through the Bitterroot since Friday- Dennis Bragg photo(HAMILTON)- Although the rains of the past few days are helping to suppress the fire danger a little, Ravalli County authorities are leaving fire restrictions in place because of the continued long-term hazard. In fact, fire danger remains at "very high" levels. 

Most of Ravalli County has seen a good soaking sometime since weather patterns changed late last week, bringing a combination of heavy rains and scattered showers.

That's certainly helped to wet things down, especially when it comes to the smaller "fuels" like grass and brush that had been tinder dry after the June hot spell. But being that is still only mid-July, and the potential for more dry conditions will continue for several more weeks, authorities are taking a cautious approach. 

Monday, Ravalli County commissioners discussed the current conditions and opted to leave the Stage 1 fire restrictions in place. That continues the ban on any open burning, with additional restrictions, such as only allowing burning within an enclosed vehicle or building, or in areas of bare ground. 

The Bitterroot National Forest is also continuing Stage 1 restrictions, which allow the use of propane camp stoves and grills that have a switch, but limit the use of campfires to established camp grills. 

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