The Roundup -

All 11 Counties In Miles City Fire District To Be Under Fire Restrictions


By the end of this week, all 11 counties in the Miles City Fire District will be under at least Stage I fire restrictions, banning campfires, smoking and other activities in all but a handful of exempted areas. Affected counties are Garfield, McCone, Richland, Dawson, Prairie, Wibaux, Rosebud, Custer, Fallon, Powder River and Carter.

State and federal agencies including Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks follow the counties’ lead in placing fire restrictions on sites they administer within those counties, so visitors to Fishing Access Sites and other facilities will see signage indicating fire restrictions. At this time, the only campfires allowed are at FWP sites that have fire rings and that are staffed full time. FWP encourages people to use extreme caution while recreating due to increasingly dry conditions and fire danger.

Most of the neighboring Billings Fire District is also under fire restrictions. In that district, Treasure County entered Stage II restrictions Thursday, joining Yellowstone and Musselshell counties. Bighorn and Stillwater counties are under Stage I restrictions.

Just since Monday, 14 wildfires have cropped up in Southeastern Montana counties, with several in Rosebud, Garfield and Powder River counties. Rosebud has seen six fires, Garfield County four and Powder River County three. The largest is the Barker Fire, sparked by lightning on 2,500 acres of private land in Garfield County 20 miles north of Sand Springs. The second largest is the 1,000-acre Cottonwood Fire in Rosebud County, burning on private land seven miles north of Lame Deer.

Garfield County also has blazes estimated at 800 acres, 600 acres and 250 acres, but most of the remaining fires around the region range from 20 acres down to less than an acre. All three of Powder River County’s fires have been contained, along with three in Rosebud County. Two others in Rosebud County were turned over to landowners.

Currently the state has 97 fire restrictions in place, ranging from burn bans to Stage II fire restrictions. The entire eastern half of the state is now under restrictions, while the western half is limited to a few counties with burn bans.


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