As of midnight tonight, September 19, Stage Two and Stage One fire restrictions in western Montana will end. The fire danger level has plunged from “extreme” to “moderate” over the past two weeks. Chris Johnson with the Northern Rockies Coordination Group explains.

"We had a recent bout of rain and a lot of the fires in western Montana have gone from suppression to rehabilitation and soil stabilization, so it's time to lift the burn restrictions htat have been in place for quite some time in western Montana all the way from Kalispell down through Missoula."

Johnson explains the type of activities now permitted and says the fire season appears to be on pace to end soon.

"Campfires and hunter's warming fires will be allowed, and people can run chainsaws off road to go get some firewood and not have to worry about being done before 1:00 p.m, Johnson said. "It's typical that we get a season slowing event about mid-September, just like this one, and it's also very normal that we get a season ending event by the end of September."

Many counties, including Missoula still have ongoing burn bans on private property. Johnson says burn permits are typically allowed after September.

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