Stage 1 fire restrictions begin Saturday

Stage 1 fire restrictions begin Saturday

DILLON — Interagency fire management officials in southwestern Montana will begin Stage 1 fire restrictions, effective at midnight Saturday. These restrictions apply to the following areas: Madison County, Beaverhead County, Deer Lodge County, Silver Bow County, Powell County south of I-90 and Highway 12 and Granite County south of I-90 and east of the Lolo National Forest boundary.

These fire restrictions affect private lands within the listed counties; state and private forested lands under the jurisdiction of Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation (MT DNRC); and lands under the jurisdiction of Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Forest Service (FS), US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the National Park Service (NPS)

Stage 1 fire restrictions apply to campfires and smoking.  Under Stage 1 restrictions, the following acts are prohibited:

Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire unless noted in the exemptions below or as designated in the specific closure order.

Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.

Exemptions to the above Stage 1 prohibitions include the following:

Persons with a written permit that specifically authorizes the otherwise prohibited act.

Persons using a device solely fueled by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels that can be turned on and off. Such devices can only be used in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within 3 feet of the device.

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.

All land within a city boundary is exempted.

Other exemptions unique to each agency/tribe.

Exception to Stage One Fire Restrictions on Privately Owned lands within Beaverhead County.

Allowed

Persons may have a “back-yard” fire on their own property as long as the fire size does not exceed a maximum size of 36” in diameter.

Anyone starting or maintaining a back-yard fire is responsible for any damages or costs associated with the fire if it leaves their property.

Exception to Stage One Fire Restrictions on Privately Owned lands within Madison County.

Allowed:

Residential use of charcoal grills, Tiki torches, fires in chimeneas or other portable fireplaces or patio fire pits, as long as the fires are supervised by a responsible person at least 18 years old.

  • Check with local municipalities for ordinances or resolutions.
  • Big Sky Fire District is exempt from this ban and any restrictions will be at the discretion of the Big Sky Fire Chief.

Under these restrictions, campfires are allowed only in recreation sites within metal/concrete fire pits.

The restrictions will remain in effect until there is a significant change in fire danger.

Fire danger across southwestern Montana is VERY HIGH.  Forested lands at all elevations are dry.  Fire management officials are hopeful that by initiating Stage 1 fire restrictions, there will be fewer person-caused wildland fires.

For additional information on fire restrictions, visit the fire restrictions website at www.firerestrictions.us.


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