Forest closures remain in place, officials say

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Matthew Hawkins, a firefighter with the U.S. Forest Service Seeley Lake Ranger District, patrols the road during a prescribed burn in June.

BEN ALLAN SMITH, Missoulian

With bow season underway, visitors are reminded that fire restrictions and area closures remain in place across the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest.

“We know that people want to get back into the forest and a closure during hunting season is especially tough,” said Townsend District Ranger Mike Welker. “These closures exist for public safety and we will reopen as much of the forest as we can and as soon as we can. There are still a number of hazards in these closure areas, including: active fire, hazard trees that can come down unexpectedly, and fire crews working with heavy equipment.”

Forest managers have also seen more drone intrusions over active fires, such as the Woods Creek Fire northeast of Townsend. When drones fly in the airspace over fires, they will shut down any aerial operations operating in support of the fire, so people are asked

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