Bitterroot Forest Opens Firewood Cutting Areas
Woodcutters have more places to get a winter's supply of firewood on the Bitterroot National Forest. Public Affairs Officer Tod McKay said that a half dozen new places are temporarily open for cutting personal use firewood. You do need to get a map, visit the Bitterroot National Forest website, call or stop by the Stevensville, Darby, West Fork and Hamilton offices.
The areas are open now and will remain open until October 15th, unless fire danger levels cause restrictions this summer and fall.
Stevensville Ranger District areas now open for firewood cutting are:
- Silverthorne Loop - Roads 740 and 739A.
- Gash Creek - Road 62070.
- Smith Creek - Road 1321.
Darby/Sula Ranger District areas temporarily open are:
- Andrews Creek - Road 728.
- Meadow Creek - Road 5759.
There is one area that won't open until July 1st because of road work and that's the Thunder Mountain Road 5685 on the West Fork Ranger District.
You'll need a personal use firewood permit. They're free and are available at any Bitterroot National Forest office Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You are allowed up to 12 cords of wood. The permit is good through the end of the year. You also need a Firewood Map, also at the offices or online.
Please remember the usual rules. Carry a shovel, bucket and fire extinguisher. Have a spark arrester on your chainsaw. Don't block the roads. Use wide shoulders and turnouts. Don't fell a tree onto the roadways. All slash must be piled. As always, there is no firewood gathering within 150 feet of streams, creeks or waterways. No trees can be cut on developed recreation areas. Law enforcement will be out there, monitoring the activity. Updates are available at the Bitterroot National Forest Facebook page.