Media Release: 170901-01
Contact: Patrick Lonergan, (406) 582-2395
Have a Fire Safe Weekend
Bozeman, MT – Everyone in Gallatin County is encouraged to use safe practices with fire over the weekend and for the remainder of fire season. The conditions in many areas are very conducive to wildfires starting and rapidly growing into large devastating fires. Gallatin County officials are asking everyone to limit their recreational fire use even in locations where they are still allowed. “With much of Western Montana inundated with large wildfires, we don’t want to add Gallatin County to that list and we need everyone’s help to avoid wildfires here,” according to Patrick Lonergan, Gallatin County Emergency Manager.
Patrick Lonergan explained, “With wildfires burning across the West, and Hurricane Harvey in Texas, emergency resources are stretched thin. The lack of resource availability combined with the vegetation and weather conditions creates a situation that makes catching wildfires when they are small very challenging. The best way to prevent a devastating wildfire from occurring in Gallatin County is for our community to keep a fire from starting. Officials are asking our community to avoid starting fires and if they do have a recreational fire, use extreme caution.”
Open burning in Gallatin County is currently closed and the Custer-Gallatin National Forest, Montana DNRC and Montana FWP are enacting Stage 1 Fire Restrictions Saturday on their lands within Gallatin County. Individuals recreating on these public lands should check with the respective agencies on the exact restrictions, but generally this restricts the use of campfires and smoking outdoors. Recreational fires are still allowed, but discouraged, on private property in Gallatin County that are not classified forest lands (classified forest lands are regulated by DNRC & USFS).
Below is a detailed release of the fire restrictions taking effect this weekend:
Stage 1 Fire Restrictions Implemented Across the Zone
Thursday, August 31, 2017—Beginning at 00:01 a.m. Saturday, September 2, 2017 Stage I Fire Restrictions will be extended to include most areas in the South Central Montana Fire Zone on federal, state and some county lands. Yellowstone National Park, the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness and the Lee Metcalf Wilderness Area will not go into Stage 1 fire restrictions at this time. The agencies were prompted to implement fire restrictions over a broader area because there was an increase in fire activity east of the Continental Divide since Wednesday, which further depleted firefighting resources. In addition, red flag warnings are predicted.
- Custer Gallatin National Forest – The national forest is in stage 1 fire restrictions with an exemption for campfires in improved recreation sites with metal fire rings starting Saturday 9-2-17 at 00:01. The Absaroka Beartooth and Lee Metcalf Wilderness’s are excluded from restrictions at this time. The East Zone is already in Stage 1 restrictions.
- BLM lands in both Park and Gallatin Counties will move into Stage 1 restrictions with an exemption for campfires in improved recreation sites with metal fire rings starting Saturday 9-2-17 at 00:01
- Fish Wildlife and Parks lands which includes fishing access sites and state parks: Park County sites are currently under Stage 1 Restrictions with no campfires. Gallatin County sites will move into Stage 1 restrictions with no campfires starting Saturday 9-2-17 at 00:01
- Department of Natural Resources classified forest lands in Park and Gallatin County will move into Stage 1 restrictions with no campfires starting Saturday 9-2-17 at 00:01
- Gallatin County has closed open burning under burn permits and does not implement staged fire restrictions.
- Yellowstone National Park has no fire restrictions at this time. However, campfires are always restricted to improved recreation sites with metal fire rings.
The purpose of fire restrictions is to reduce the risk of human-caused fires during periods of very high to extreme fire danger. These areas are experiencing critical fire conditions, including dry fuels, hot temperatures, low humidity, and high winds, all of which are expected to continue.
For more information about fire restrictions, and to check what areas are under restrictions, visit the Fire Restriction website at: https://firerestrictions.us/mt/ or call your local fire management agency, volunteer fire department, or county office.
South Central Fire Zone Coordinator: Greg Coleman firstname.lastname@example.org 406/222-4188
Acting Public Affairs Officer, Custer Gallatin National Forest for forest related questions: Teri Seth, 406/587-6703