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Missoula Field Office
Release Date: 09/07/12
Contacts: David Abrams 406-533-7617    

Missoula BLM Field Office Reopens Areas in Elevation Mountain


MISSOULA – The Bureau of Land Management has reopened most of the lands that were under a temporary area closure order due to wildfire activity, effective at 12:01 a.m. on September 7. Specifically, the order reopens all BLM lands lying within T13N, R13W, EXCEPT for sections 33-34— public lands east of Elevation Mountain in the vicinity of the Elevation Fire.  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.

“At this stage in the wildfire suppression effort, we are ready to reopen most of the area back to hunters and recreationists,” said Rich Torquemada, Manager of the Missoula Field Office. He said the decision to reopen the public lands was made after close consultation with the Incident Management Team (Type 3) for the Elevation Fire and the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.

“Safety of the public and our firefighters continues to be our first and foremost concern.  We’ve had great public cooperation during the closure, and this really helped the incident team,” Torquemada added.  “The fire has transitioned to a type 3 team, and is being managed within the established fire containment perimeter.”

In addition to the continued closure in the immediate vicinity of the fire, the Keno Creek Road and Kennedy Creek Roads (BLM Roads 0405 and 2817, respectively) will remain closed while suppression and patrol efforts are underway, to ensure the public’s safety.

“This modification of the Elevation Fire closure, will allow increased public access while maintaining public and firefighter safety,” said BLM Western Montana District Manager Rick Hotaling.

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.

A copy of the order and a map of the closure area 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 F. Missoula Road      Missoula, MT 59804  

Last updated: 09-10-2012