HAUSER LAKE — Open burning closed in Lewis and Clark County this weekend, but open burning is a lot different than having a campfire, more specifically in size.
A fire at, or over, four feet in diameter would be identified as an open burn, but lengths under that limit would be considered a campfire.
Lewis & Clark County Sheriff and Fire Warden Leo Dutton, closed open burning Saturday, July 1. In consultation with the Rural Fire Council, Forest Service, BLM, and DNRC.
"Typically, July and August are hottest month, and why we haven't done this before, I don't know, but it makes good sense. The moisture dries out quickly. As you can see, the fires that we get mostly come in July and August," said Dutton.
According to the Montana DNRC, humans are directly responsible for an average of 75 percent of wildfire starts. So even though things are pretty green, we all have to be careful any time we use fire.
Dutton states that while campfires are fun during the summer months, always being attentive to the fire is most important.
"Keep your fire 25 feet away from your vehicles, from overhanging trees, things like that. Build a rock wall, or a rock ring around your fire, make sure that you clear brush and combustible materials from your fire, and then enjoy it. Watch it. Make sure that it doesn't get out of control."
Dutton also mentioned that making sure the fire is completely out when done is crucial.
Even using water, there may be embers and coals still hot in there, which is why you need to make sure it s cold to the touch.