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  Comments (0) Total Wednesday Apr. 23, 2014
 
Local Agencies Urge Safety During Holiday Week
Residents reminded that fireworks are prohibited in city limits and on forest lands
The local forecast calls for hot, dry weather during the upcoming holiday week and residents are being reminded that fireworks are not allowed in city limits, national forest land, national parks or state land.

The U.S. Forest Service and other local agencies are encouraging residents to be safe during the Fourth of July week. Campfires should always be attended to and be “dead out” before leaving the area, the USFS said.

The Kalispell Fire Department, in a statement, reminded residents that each year thousands of people, most often children and teens, are injured while using consumer fireworks. Despite the dangers of fireworks, few people understand the associated risks - devastating burns, other injuries, fires, and even death, according to Fire Chief Dave Dedman.

For those recreating during the holiday week, all but two campgrounds on the Flathead National Forest are open. Murray Bay and Riverside Campgrounds are still closed for construction and are estimated to open at the end of July. There are several concession-operated campgrounds in which reservations are available, and other sites are first-come first-serve.

Campground information, including a list of developed campgrounds on the Flathead National Forest, is available here.

River enthusiasts are reminded to be prepared, wear required life jackets, know your abilities, have the proper safety gear on board and know how to use the gear. Those planning to float the three forks of the Flathead River are encouraged to obtain an updated Forest Service publication, Three Forks of the Flathead Float Guide, for information on river regulations, accurate river locations and river flow information, and historical interpretive information of the area. The waterproof guide is an excellent resource for anyone recreating on the Flathead River and is available for sale through the Glacier Association and is available at any Flathead National Forest Office.

To minimize human-grizzly bear encounters, forest users are reminded to store all food and beverages so they are unavailable to bears. Per state law, food and beverages must be stored in a bear resistant container, or a hard-sided camper, vehicle trunk or cab, or hung at least 10 feet off the ground and four feet away from any vertical support, like a tree. Campers may comply with this by storing coolers and other food and drink in a vehicle when the campsite is unoccupied. The food storage order on the Flathead National Forest is intended for visitor safety, and safety and recovery of the grizzly bear.
 
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Kellyn Brown
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