Due to hot and dry weather conditions, Stage 1 fire restrictions will go into effect within the Lewistown Fire Restrictions Area, beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, September 8, 2012.

These restrictions apply to National Forest lands in the Judith, White Sulphur Springs, Musselshell and Belt Creek Ranger Districts in the Lewis and Clark National Forest.  The Rocky Mountain District and Augusta Station are not affected by the restrictions.

These restrictions will remain in effect until rescinded.

Additionally, Wheatland and Golden Valley counties remain under Stage 2 restrictions.  Within these counties all Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Fishing Access Sites are under Stage 2 fire restrictions, where building, maintaining, attending or using a fire or campfire is prohibited.

The following counties are in Stage 1 fire restrictions; Chouteau, Blaine, Phillips, Valley, Daniels, Roosevelt, Petroleum, Fergus and Judith Basin.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – C.M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge and Fort Belknap Reservation are also in Stage 1 fire restrictions.

Under Stage 1, the following acts are prohibited:

  • Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire or campfire, except within an established, metal fire ring in a developed recreation site.
  • 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 are allowed for persons using a fire solely fueled by liquid petroleum or LPG; for a federal, state, or local officer, or member of an organized law enforcement, rescue, or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty; or persons with a permit or written authorization allowing the otherwise prohibited act or omission.

The Lewistown Area Restrictions Group would like to remind the public that 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.  Make sure your campfire is dead out before leaving your campsite.  Take precautions while recreating on public lands by always carrying a shovel, bucket and fire extinguisher.

The Lewistown Area Restrictions Group includes representatives from state, county, local, tribal and federal firefighting entities and coordinates fire restrictions on federal, state and private lands in the Lewistown Fire Restrictions Area, covering north-central and extreme northeastern Montana.

For more information, please contact the Bureau of Land Management at 406-538-1991; U.S. Army Corp of Engineers at 406-526-3411; the Lewis and Clark National Forest at 406-791-7754; Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation at 406-538-7789; your local office of Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks or your local fire department or sheriff’s office.

Because restrictions can vary across the region, it’s important that you know before you go.  For up-to-date fire restrictions information, please visit http://firerestrictions.us.

Logo courtesy Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks

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