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Montana State Office
Release Date: 08/12/10
Contacts: Jack Conner 406-896-5228    

Stillwater and Sweetgrass Counties to Enter Stage 1 Fire Restrictions

Stillwater County has enacted Stage 1 fire restrictions as of 12:01 a.m. today and Sweetgrass County will do the same on Monday, August 16th. Other counties currently under Stage 1 restrictions are Carbon, Musselshell, and Treasure. The restrictions apply to all private, state and federal lands except the Beartooth District of the Custer National Forest.

Fire activity picked up yesterday after a weather front produced lightning causing several new fire starts across south central Montana. Two fires started on Forest Service lands, one east of Red Lodge, which were contained at about a 1/2 acre each.   Two new fires were also reported on the north end of Stillwater County yesterday evening, also reported to be lightning caused, and are now contained.

Under Stage 1, campfires are prohibited except within developed recreation sites that specifically authorize them. 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. Camp stoves fueled solely by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels that can be turned on and off are exempted from the restriction as long as they are used in an area that is clear of overhead and surrounding flammable materials.

Fire is a danger even in areas not under restrictions. Be prepared. Keep campfires small and make sure they are dead out before you leave. Keep a shovel and a bucket handy. Drive only on established roads and trails and park in areas clear of vegetation. 

Some counties may require a permit for agricultural burning. Contact the local fire department or sheriff’s office for more information. 

Take extra caution when working and recreating outdoors to prevent wildland fire starts. Anyone who causes a wildland fire intentionally or through negligence will be held accountable for damage and suppression costs.  

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 sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Montana State Office   5001 Southgate Drive      Billings, MT 59101  

Last updated: 06-28-2012