GREAT FALLS — Stage 2 Fire Restrictions will go into effect in Cascade County at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 16, 2021 and will remain in force until further notice. Cascade County Fire Warden Brad Call said in a news release on Thursday that the increase from Stage 1 is due to continuing long-duration unseasonably warm and dry conditions.
The National Interagency Fire Center says that fire restrictions help land management agencies reduce fire risk and prevent wildfires during periods of high to extreme danger.
Under Stage Two Restrictions:
- Open burning is prohibited including any wood or combustible material in fire pits, rings etc. including private residences
- Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire for any purpose is not allowed including in developed recreation sites or improved areas.
- Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, or while stopped in an area of at least six feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all combustible material.
- No Operating a chainsaw or other equipment powered by an internal combustion engine without a USDA or SAE approved spark arresting device properly installed and in proper working order. Blasting or welding is prohibited.
- Campers are ONLY allowed to cook using a device that is solely fueled by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels and can be turned on and off.
- All Fireworks are prohibited. All exploding targets (available for sale to recreational shooters) are also considered a pyrotechnic product and are also prohibited.
- Operating motorized vehicles off designated roads and trails.
- Persons using charcoal briquettes are allowed ONLY on private property in a “backyard” barbeque located in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within six feet of the device
Call said he is in regular contact with City Fire Departments and Rural Volunteer Fire Chiefs; they will review and reassess fire conditions weekly to determine when it is appropriate to lift or lessen the restrictions.
Stage 1 Fire Restrictions are in effect for several Montana counties; click here for details.
Governor Greg Gianforte on Wednesday signed an executive order declaring a statewide wildland fire emergency in Montana.
Gianforte said he issued Executive Order 12-2021 in response to the extremely dry and dangerous wildfire conditions that exist across the state and to the national shortage of firefighting resources. He says the order will help procure additional resources and tools for wildland firefighters, including the authorization for him to mobilize the Montana National Guard to assist in fire suppression efforts.
“I’m urging all Montanans and visitors to our state to do their part. Follow local fire restrictions, prepare your homes and communities for wildfire, and recreate and work safely to ensure you’re not adding to our wildland firefighters’ workload by inadvertently starting a wildfire. Our dedicated, courageous first responders are depending on us all.” - Governor Greg Gianforte
The order will also help provide relief to local and volunteer firefighters, who "have been integral in providing tireless response efforts, but have been strained under the current record-setting fire season." It also acknowledges the importance of aggressive initial attack and the critical role of cooperation among suppression agencies.