BILLINGS — Big Horn County has been added to the list of areas in south central Montana where campfires are banned in state fishing access sites and wildlife management areas.
This week Big Horn County officials voted to impose Stage I restrictions, which ban campfires except where specifically exempted, and allow smoking only in vehicles and areas three feet in diameter that are cleared of flammable materials.
Montana FWP has no exemptions for campfires in fishing access sites and wildlife management areas in south central Montana. People still may cook on an LP gas or propane stove that can be turned on and off.
Last week Yellowstone and Carbon counties in south central Montana imposed the same restrictions. This week Carbon County strengthened its restrictions and now imposes Stage II rules. In addition to a ban on all campfires, Stage II restrictions impose “hoot owl” hours, which halt off-road travel, welding, explosives and other activities between 1 p.m. and 1 a.m. each day, except where specifically permitted.
In Big Horn County, the campfire ban and smoking restrictions apply to all fishing access sites on the Bighorn River from Yellowtail Dam to its confluence with the Yellowstone River.
The restrictions are in response to dry, warm weather that could increase the danger of human-caused wildfires. They will be in effect until further notice.