R6 FWP urges hunters to check fire status, make safety a priority

Phillips County is in Stage 1 restrictions, several Block Management Areas currently closed


Last updated 9/8/2022 at 11:41am

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

GLASGOW — With our region of northeast Montana suffering extreme drought with the constant threat of wildfires, hunters and other recreationists taking to the field must be aware of local fire restrictions and closures and take necessary precautions.

Archery antelope started Aug. 15, upland game bird season (and mourning doves) on Sept. 1, and archery-only hunting season for deer, elk, antelope, bighorn sheep, black bear, wolf and mountain lion began on Sept. 3, so plenty of hunters are out in the field.

To help prevent fires, hunters and other recreationists should:

• Drive only on established roads.

• Avoid roads with tall vegetation in the middle track.

• Never park over dry grass and other vegetation (but make sure to pull off the road!)

• Carry a fire extinguisher—or water-filled weed sprayer—bucket, shovel, axe, and a cell phone for emergency calls.

• Restrict camping activities to designated camping areas.

• Build campfires only in established metal fire rings, if allowed (note restrictions).

• Smoke only inside buildings or vehicles.

• Check on any fire restrictions in place.

Block Management Areas in fire restrictions

Private landowners with land enrolled in Block Management Areas (BMAs) or other private land access programs may also have restrictions or closures. Be sure to ask when securing permission on any private land. Currently, there are several BMAs in Region 6 with closures, including:

• Blaine Count: #10-Williamson Ranch, #181-Biebinger Ranch, #183- BKB Ranch, and #187-Wine Cup

• Choteau County: #6-Mack Ranch

• Hill County: #3-Phalen Ranch

These closures could change daily. BMAs fire restrictions and closures will be updated as changes occur at https://fwp.mt.gov/hunt/access/blockmanagement/restrictions with changes shown on the Hunt Planner Map on the FWP website as well. The FWP Region 6 Facebook page will be updated daily as changes occur.

County Fire Restrictions

When it comes to site-specific fire restrictions, FWP follows the lead of the county where the site is located.

As of Tuesday, Sept. 6, only Phillips County was in Stage 1 Restrictions in northeast Montana. Blaine, Daniels, Hill, and Roosevelt are currently in a burn ban. Please be aware that these restrictions change weekly.

Stage 1 restrictions ban campfires except where specifically exempted, allow cooking fires on propane devices that can be shut off and allow smoking only in vehicles and areas three feet in diameter that are cleared of flammable materials.

Stage 2 restrictions start with regulations delineated by Stage 1 restrictions. In addition, Stage 2 restrictions ban welding, explosives, driving off established roads, and use of internal-combustion engines, except for vehicles on established roads, between 1 p.m. and 1 a.m. each day. Generators used in enclosed buildings or in an area cleared of vegetation specifically are exempted from Stage 2 restrictions.

Currently, there are no counties in Stage 2 in FWP Region 6.

FWP sites that could be impacted by fire restrictions include fishing access sites, wildlife management areas and state parks.

For up-to-date details on state-wide FWP property fire and drought-related restrictions and closures, visit FWP’s website at fwp.mt.gov. Click “Restrictions and Closures” at the top of the page. In addition, you can go to http://www.mtfireinfo.org to see restrictions statewide.

Always be prepared to prevent or extinguish fire starts. Your awareness and assistance during this fire year is appreciated.


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