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Missoula Field Office
Release Date: 08/28/12
Contacts: David Abrams    
  (406) 490-0367    

Missoula BLM Field Office Closes Areas Threatened By Wildfire

MISSOULA (Aug. 28, 2012) – The Bureau of Land Management has issued an area closure order temporarily closing lands administered by its Missoula Field Office near Elevation Mountain due to wildfire activity in the area, effective at 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 29.

Specifically, the order closes BLM lands lying within T13N, R13W, sections 13-16, and 19-36—roughly the public lands east of Elevation Mountain where the Elevation Fire is actively burning.  Unless permitted in writing by the authorized officer, the public is prohibited from going into or being upon any lands designated in the closure order.

“The safety of the public and our firefighters is our first and foremost concern,” said Rich Torquemada, Manager of the Missoula Field Office, who said the decision to close the public lands was made after close consultation with the Incident Management Team (Type 2) for the Elevation Fire and the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.

“We’ve had some unpredictable fire behavior, bordering on extreme fire activity,” Torquemada added.  “Based on the weather, topography and fuel conditions in the area, we’re doing the best we can to ensure the public’s safety. The weather forecast for the near future calls for high winds, high temperatures, lightning, and very little wetting moisture.  This could impede firefighting efforts and rapidly expand the fire perimeter within the closure area.”

The area is popular with recreationalists—especially hunters during this time of year.

“This closure will be rescinded once the Elevation Fire is contained and controlled, or until conditions warrant the closure is no longer necessary for public and firefighter safety,” said Western Montana BLM District Manager Rick Hotaling.  “Our goals are to provide for public and firefighter safety, to keep the fire as small as possible while protecting the resources at risk, and to open up the land again as soon as we feel it’s safe to do so.”

Exemptions from the closure order include the following: those with a written permit that specifically authorizes the otherwise prohibited act; emergency repair of public utilities and railroads; persons conducting activities in those designated areas where the activity is specifically authorized by written posted notice; any federal, state or local officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty; and other exemptions unique to each agency.

Just click for a copy of the order and a map of the closure area, or they can be seen online at .  They are also available at the Missoula Field Office, 3255 Fort Missoula Road, Missoula, MT  59804.  For more information, call (406) 329-3914.

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The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Missoula Field Office   3255 Fort Missoula Rd.      Missoula, MT 59804  

Last updated: 08-28-2012