Fire Restrictions in Effect Across Custer & Gallatin N.F’s,Caution Urged for 4th of July Celebrations

Release Date: Jul 3, 2012

Contact(s): Mariah Leuschen 406-548-1174


Bozeman and Billings, MT – Persistent hot and dry weather, coupled with strong winds has pushed Gallatin National Forest into Stage I Fire Restrictions forestwide.  Stage II Fire Restrictions are in effect for all districts on the Custer National Forest which includes Beartooth, Ashland and Sioux Ranger Districts.  Currently, each wilderness area, the Lee Metcalf and Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness are exempt from any fire restrictions. 

“In the past week firefighters have continued to battle more than 10 large wildfires across Montana and recent fire activity across the nation is stretching firefighting resources thin,” said Mariah Leuschen, Public Affairs Specialist.”  Vegetation and fine fuels across south central and eastern Montana are extremely dry; it is imperative when celebrating to know and follow the fire restrictions in your area. 

 Stage II Fire Restrictions prohibit building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire.  From 1:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. operating any internal combustion engine, welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame, and using an explosive is prohibited.  In addition, a one hour foot patrol in the work area is required following cessation of all activities as identified above 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 cleared of all flammable materials.   Operating motorized vehicles off designated roads and trails is also prohibited. 

Stage I Fire Restrictions require that Forest visitors build, maintain, attend or use a fire or campfire in a stove and that campfires and charcoal fires will be allowed only at developed or designated recreation sites or campgrounds in an agency provided metal fire ring.  Fires fueled solely by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels may be used anywhere on National Forest System lands during Stage I Fire Restrictions.  Additionally, under Stage I Fire Restrictions 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 cleared of all flammable materials.

Remember that if visiting National Forest System lands in Stage I Fire Restrictions to bring a bucket, water, shovel and to always leave your campfire dead out, which means no heat to the touch.   If visiting an area in Stage II restrictions, plan on enjoying your recreation festivities without utilizing a fire.  Additional specific information can be found by visiting www.firerestrictions.us, www.fs.usda.gov/gallatin, www.fs.usda.gov/custer or by calling your local ranger district office.

 

Gallatin National Forest Ranger Districts

Big Timber:  406-932-5155     

Livingston:  406-222-1892   

Gardiner:  406-848-7375  

Bozeman:  406-522-2520

Hebgen Lake:  406-823-6961

Custer National Forest Ranger Districts 

 Ashland:  406-784-2344

 Beartooth:  406-446-2103

Sioux:  605-797-4432

 

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