Hungry Horse Reservoir East Side Road Opens Friday, September 1, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: August 31, 2023

Kalispell, MT, August 31, 2023 — The east side road of Hungry Horse Reservoir (National Forest System Road 38) will open tomorrow at 10:00am to public travel along the entire east shore to Spotted Bear Ranger Station. The Hungry Horse Reservoir will be open for boating and the east shore and islands are open to dispersed camping. The west side road (National Forest System Road 895) will be open to the Doris Point Boat Launch, allowing watercraft access to the reservoir from that popular site. NFS Road 895 remains closed south of the Doris Point Boat Launch due to the Tin Soldier and Doris Point Fires. An area closure for the Ridge Fire is also still in effect and includes the Desert Mountain Road (National Forest System Road 497) and Emery Creek Road (National Forest System Road 546). Emery Bay Campground, however, will be open and available for reservations.

While the cooler weather and recent rainfall have significantly reduced fire activity, this week’s rain was not a season-ending event and areas within the fire perimeters are still hazardous. Firefighting efforts continue within the fire areas and the closures are in place to provide for public and firefighter safety.

Visible flames are only one aspect of hazardous conditions within a fire area. Even as black areas in the interior of the fire perimeter cool off, residual heat can be found in stumps and large fallen trees. Smoking stump holes and even standing, green needle trees can have smoldering roots below the ground for days or weeks after everything around it is extinguished. Wet soil and strong winds can cause these fire-weakened trees to fall without warning, making them very hazardous.

Please review the area closure maps and remain outside of the closed fire areas. Firefighters continue to work diligently and closure areas will open as soon as safely possible.

“I am excited to allow public access back into the Hungry Horse Reservoir for Labor Day weekend. I always need to prioritize firefighter and public safety above recreation demands and as the weather changes, I am hopeful we will be able to open up the West Side Road in the near future. It is very important to me and we will open areas as soon as conditions are safe.” says Rob Davies, Hungry Horse District Ranger.

Stage II Fire Restrictions ended 12:01am Wednesday, August 30, 2023, for the Flathead National Forest. There are now no fire restrictions in place for the Flathead National Forest. Please do not leave campfires unattended and ensure they are dead out before you leave.

Revised Area Closures Still in Effect:

Doris Point and Tin Soldier Fires Closure: The closure area encompasses the west side of the Hungry Horse Reservoir from the Doris Point Boat Launch on NFS Road 895 on the north end to the Wilderness boundary on the south end, and from the Swan Mountain ridgeline down to the reservoir, excluding the Jewel Basin Hiking Area. NFS Road 895 (West Side South Fork Road) is open to the Doris Point Boat Launch to allow access to the reservoir. NFS Road 895 is closed south of the Doris Point Boat Launch. All roads and trails within the closure are closed to the public.

Ridge Fire Closure: The closed area encompasses Emery Creek drainage, north of NFS Road 38 and west of Margaret Creek, including a portion of the Coram Experimental Forest. All roads and trails within the closure are closed to the public, including the Desert Mountain Road (NFS Road 497) and Emery Creek Road (NFS Road 546).

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