GREAT FALLS – Blaine County and Hill County will begin Stage 1 fire restrictions on Friday, August 10, starting at 12:01 a.m., according to a press release from the federal Bureau of Land Management.
The restrictions apply to all state, private, and BLM lands and Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, which is located in both Blaine and Phillips counties.
Stage 1 fire restrictions apply to campfires and smoking. Under Stage 1 restrictions, the following acts are prohibited:
- Campfires and other fires are prohibited except in approved recreation sites, as designated on the fire prevention 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 three 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 or jurisdiction.
People are urged to be extremely cautious during fire season. Even the smallest spark has the potential to cause significant damage, so please do your part to prevent wildfires: crush cigarettes dead out and never leave a campfire unattended. Take precautions while recreating on public lands by always carrying a shovel, bucket and fire extinguisher in your vehicle or keeping them nearby and readily available. Make sure your campfire is dead out before leaving your campsite.
Fireworks are prohibited on all state and federal lands. Exploding targets available for sale to recreational shooters are considered a pyrotechnic product and are prohibited on federally managed lands year round.
Any person who causes a wildfire intentionally or through negligence will be held accountable for damage and suppression costs.
For more information on fire restrictions, visit the fire restrictions website at www.firerestrictions.us or contact Lewistown Area Restrictions Coordinator Shannon Bonney at 406-538-1942.