Friday morning, September 16, the Ravalli County Commissioners rescinded two resolutions enacted during the height of forest fire season. One declared an Emergency in the the county and the other allowed evacuations under a Local Disaster declaration. Both were invoked during the fight against the Roaring Lion Fire south of Hamilton.

That fire is over 80 percent contained at last report, and the Bitterroot National Forest is in Moderate fire danger. That and a favorable weather forecast allowed the commissioners to rescind the ban on open burning in Ravalli County.

Open burning is now allowed, but a permit is required. The permit was recommended by the Ravalli County Fire Council and can be done on-line at or by calling 866-212-6318. The Ravalli County Sheriff's Office app on your smart phone also has a direct link to the permit site.

Fire season continues, though!

Bitterroot National Forest reported a quarter-acre fire in the Sapphire Mountains on the eastern side of the Bitterroot Valley. The fire in the Skalkaho area east of Bald Top Mountain is near Two Bear Meadows.

Four firefighters were sent into the forest Friday, while a helicopter dropped water on the blaze to keep it from spreading. Officials initially have determined that it was human-caused.

Again, if you have a campfire in the woods, make sure it is completely out and cold to the touch before you leave your campsite. Cigarettes and cigars need to be put out completely, too.

Meanwhile, the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest is conducting a "landscape" controlled burn west of the valley in Idaho. Smoke from the 1,000 acre fire was visible over the Bitterroot Mountains at sunset Friday.