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United States Department of the Interior
Montana State Office
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, Montana 59101-4669

 June 15, 2009

9210 (MT9250) P                                            
Instruction Memorandum No. MT-2009-047
Expires: 9/30/2010
To:             State Management Team
From:         State Director
Subject:     Montana/Dakotas Statewide Fire Trespass Operating Plan
Program Area: Fire Trespass Management
Purpose:  This instruction memorandum (IM) issues updated fire trespass guidance
Policy/Action: The State Director has directed the development of this statewide Fire Trespass Operating Plan to be followed by all Montana/Dakotas field offices. This State Fire Trespass Operating Plan stems from the National Fire Trespass Operating Plan. This document supersedes any current field office or state fire trespass operating plan. Due to the fact that this statewide plan may not cover every concern of a field office program, the Field Manager and/or Fire Management Officer may add details to the state plan through a local operating plan.
Timeframe:  This IM is effective immediately.
Budget Impact: No significant impacts to the budget are expected. 

Background: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Fire Trespass Handbook, H-9238-1, was last revised in 2000. Since that time, the Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA) has issued several decisions that have impacted the Bureau’s fire trespass program. There have also been case law and Solicitor opinions that identified needed changes in this program. The new handbook addresses those issues and provide for an overall improved fire trespass program. Review of the handbook was initiated in 2004 and included field, state, and national level representatives from law enforcement, fire management, budget and business practices, U.S. attorneys, and regional Solicitors.

Elements of the fire trespass process play an important role in fire management programs. Fire trespass investigations help identify specific fire causes and behaviors that can be addressed through a targeted fire prevention program. These investigations can also lead to collection actions to recover costs on human-caused fires where there is evidence of negligence or intent. 

Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: The Fire Trespass Handbook, H-9238-1, supplements manual section 9238, Fire Trespass, and replaces the draft Fire Trespass Handbook issued in 2005
Coordination: Coordination was done through the National Interagency Fire Center, MSO Fire Management Officers, and Field Offices.
Contact: Questions may be directed to Mike Dannenberg, Fire Trespass Coordinator, at 406-896-2913.
Signed by:                                                                   Authenticated by:
Gene R. Terland                                                          Janie Fox
State Director                                                              Staff Assistant (MT9200)
1 Attachment

Last updated: 02-28-2013