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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
Billings Field Office
 
Release Date: 08/27/12
Contacts: Ann Boucher    
  (406) 896-5255    

Critical Fire Weather this Week


As you head out to enjoy the final days of summer and the beginning of hunting season this Labor Day weekend, be aware that fire season is not over.

The National Weather Service is warning of critical fire weather today through Wednesday with high temperatures, low humidity and dry thunderstorms. Lightning-caused fires are enough to tax our firefighting resources; take care not to add human-caused fires to the mix.

Fire Restrictions and Closures in Effect

Stage 2 fire restrictions are still in effect on private, state and federal lands in Big Horn, Carbon, Musselshell, Stillwater, Sweet Grass, Treasure and Yellowstone counties.

Also due to fire danger, Shepherd Ah Nei and South Hills recreation areas near Billings are closed to motorized use. These closures are for public safety and will be reopened as soon as possible. Call 406-896-5014 for an automated message with the latest information.

Under Stage 2, all campfires are prohibited. Smoking is allowed only 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. Stage 2 also prohibits the operation of any internal combustion engine, welding or operating a torch with open flame, and using explosives from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. A two-hour patrol following cessation of work is required. Additionally, motorized vehicles must stay on designated roads.

Exemptions

Exemptions include fires fueled solely by liquid petroleum or LPG, or other activities for which there is a permit or written authorization. Carbon, Yellowstone and Stillwater counties have also exempted activities associated with harvesting and other agricultural operations. However, it is critical to keep equipment in good working order, provide spark arrestors, carry firefighting tools, and, if possible, have water available.

An exemption does not absolve an individual or organization from liability or responsibility for any fire started by the exempted activity. Anyone who causes a wildland fire intentionally or through negligence will be held accountable for damage and suppression costs.

Report Fires

To report wildfires, call 911, your local fire department, or the Billings Interagency Dispatch Center at (406) 896-2900.
 

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The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.
--BLM--

Billings Field Office   5001 Southgate Dr.      Billings, MT 59101  

Last updated: 08-27-2012