BLM Logo
Billings Field Office
Release Date: 07/01/12
Contacts: Ann Boucher, 406-896-5255    

Fire Restrictions and Closures In Effect

As of noon on Thursday, June 28, Stage 2 fire restrictions are in effect on private, state and federal lands in Mussellshell, Sweet Grass, and Yellowstone counties, and on Bureau of Land Management lands in Carbon County. Stage 2 fire restrictions will go into effect in Stillwater County at noon on Friday, June 29. Stillwater and Yellowstone counties have added an additional restriction banning all fireworks until further notice.

Stage 1 restrictions are in effect on private, state and federal lands in Big Horn and Treasure counties, and on non-BLM lands in Carbon County.

Effective at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, June 29, Shepherd Ah Nei and South Hills recreation areas near Billings are closed to motorized use, and the 17-Mile area is closed to target shooting.

Under Stage 1, campfires are prohibited except within a developed recreation site, and 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 restrictions include everything under Stage 1, but prohibit campfires everywhere (stoves are still allowed). 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 for both Stage 1 and Stage 2 fire restrictions include fires fueled solely by liquid petroleum or LPG, or other activities for which there is a permit or written authorization. Please note that an exemption does not absolve an individual or organization from liability or responsibility for any fire started by the exempted activity. 

With the Fourth of July fast approaching, remember that fireworks are prohibited on state and federal lands. Exploding targets available for sale to recreational shooters are also considered a pyrotechnic product and are included under these restrictions. Contact your local fire department to determine local restrictions. Anyone who causes a wildland fire intentionally or through negligence will be held accountable for damage and suppression costs.

The smallest spark has the potential to cause significant damage, so always crush cigarettes dead out, never leave a campfire unattended, ensure that your vehicle has a properly installed spark arrester that is operational, and stop and park only in areas clear of vegetation. Also remember that cross-country travel is not allowed on most federal and state lands. 

Always be prepared: carry a shovel, bucket and fire extinguisher. Anyone operating haying and harvesting equipment should be especially vigilant. 

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

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.

Billings Field Office   5001 Southgate Drive      Billings, MT 59101  

Last updated: 07-06-2012