GREAT FALLS — Cascade County Fire Warden Brad Call said on Tuesday afternoon that due to unseasonably warm and dry conditions, Stage One Fire Restrictions will be be implemented effective at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, July 7, and will remain in effect until further notice.
Call said in a news release, “The County remains under high fire danger conditions due to extended hot temperatures and a general lack of moisture. We’ve had very warm to hot days with hot temperatures holding into the late evening. This warm weather, coupled with the lack of rainfall and low relative humidity, necessitate Stage One Fire Restrictions until further notice.”
Stage One Restrictions:
- Open burning is prohibited.
- Campfires are allowed ONLY in a developed recreation site or improved site where developed campfire rings are provided.
- Smoking is permitted ONLY within an enclosed vehicle, inside a building, or in an area where at least three feet in diameter is cleared of all flammable materials.
- 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.
- 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 three feet of the device.
Due to recent inquiries by residents, Call also noted that burning refuse in barrels is also prohibited during Stage One restrictions. Call said that he is in regular contact with City Fire Departments and Rural Volunteer Fire Chiefs; they plan to review and reassess the fire conditions weekly to determine when it is appropriate to lift the restrictions.
And regarding fireworks - Great Falls Fire Rescue said on Tuesday that it was kept busy during the Independence Day holiday weekend, with more than 139 calls for service.
GFFR says that 45 of those calls were direct correlated to fireworks. Fires attributed to fireworks include:
- 31 grass fires
- 11 dumpster fires
- 2 structure fires
- 2 EMS trauma calls