Stage 1 Fire Restrictions in Parts of Southwest Montana

Northern Rockies Coordination Group

For Immediate Release

Stage 1 Fire Restrictions in Parts of Southwest Montana

DILLON, MONT., July 9, 2021 —Interagency fire management officials in southwestern Montana have enacted Stage 1 fire restrictions that become effective midnight on Friday, July 9th. These restrictions apply to various lands in the following counties: 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 lands within the above listed counties and area lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service, Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation (MT DNRC), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP), National Park Service (NPS) within the Dillon Dispatch Zone.

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.

Under Stage-1 restrictions, campfires are limited to developed campsites with established fire pits. Smoking is limited to enclosed vehicles, buildings, developed recreation sites, or areas of 3 feet in diameter cleared of all flammable materials.

If you plan on recreating or camping outdoors, you can find fire restriction information and a web-based map located at MT Fire Info or contact the specific land management agency with jurisdiction.

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 and varying wind gusts, difficult terrain, and multiple reports of fire starts in the last several days are all factors in the decision to move to Stage 1 Restrictions. Fireworks are always prohibited on BLM, National Forest and National Park Service lands.

Fire managers base decisions about fire restrictions on specific moisture measurements in vegetation and other risk factors such as predicted weather and amount of current fire activity. Madison and Beaverhead counties have already implemented restrictions. The unified movement of land management agencies into Stage 1 restrictions is aimed at minimizing the chances of human-caused wildfires during periods of high to extreme danger by decreasing potential sources of ignition.

For additional information on fire restrictions, visit the fire restriction website at www.mtfireinfo.org

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