Drought & Fire - Region 7
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Due to continuing extreme fire danger and lack of precipitation, almost all counties in FWP Region 7 are currently under some level of fire restrictions. Several BLM recreation areas in the Miles City-area, as well as most of the Custer National Forest are also experiencing fire restrictions.
Counties currently under Stage 1 fire restrictions include: Rosebud, Custer, Fallon, Carter, Powder River, Prairie and Dawson counties.
Counties currently under Stage 2 fire restrictions include: Big Horn, Treasure, and Garfield counties. The Ashland Ranger District and Sioux Ranger District of the Custer National Forest are also under Stage 2 fire restrictions, and the public is advised that some parts of the forest may be restricted access to the recent Ash Creek fire.
Currently, Richland County is under no fire restrictions.
Additionally, Dean S. Reservoir and Strawberry Hill Recreation Area near Miles City have been closed by the BLM Miles City Field Office until further notice.
Under Stage 1 restrictions, campfires are prohibited 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 barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
Propane and LPG camp stoves are allowed. Such devices can only be used in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within three feet.
Stage 2 restrictions include all Stage 1 restrictions and prohibit campfires everywhere (stoves are still allowed). The smallest spark has the potential to cause significant damage, so crush cigarettes dead out, never leave a campfire unattended, ensure that your vehicle has a properly installed spark arrester that is operational and stop and park only in areas clear of vegetation.
Take precautions and always be prepared: carry a shovel, bucket and fire extinguisher.
Contact your local fire department to determine local restrictions as those may vary. Remember, fireworks are prohibited on state and federal lands.
To report wildfires, call 911, your local county office, fire department or the Miles City Interagency Dispatch Center at (406)233-2900. Specific information about fire-restriction options available to federal, state, county and tribal governments is available online at http://fwp.mt.gov/news/drought/definitions.html.