Fire restrictions will go into effect at the end of the week in counties in Montana’s fire district administered out of Lewistown, including Blaine, Chouteau and Hill counties.
Hill County Commission Chair Mike Wendland said this morning that the Stage 1 restrictions will go into effect at 12:01 a. m. Friday.
Wendland said the cooler weather has improved the fire danger in the region, but the risk still is fairly high.
“There’s a lot of fuel load out there, and it’s awful dry out there, ” he said.
Under state law, violating the Stage 1 restrictions can include a fine of up to $500 or up to six months in jail, or both.
That restriction, typically categorized as a warning rather than a ban, allows fires within pits or fire structures in established camp sites, in enclosed gas, propane or butane stoves, use of charcoal in metal barbecues, and fires within cabins using a spark arrestor or screen. The only banned burning is with tiki lights.
Wendland said the restrictions will be in place until further notice.
“It will just be until we get some rain or some snow or something, ” he said.