(LEWISTOWN, Mont.) - Stage 1 fire restrictions will go into effect for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s C.M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge, Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge and Medicine Lake National Wildlife Refuge, beginning at 12:01 a.m. on July14, 2017

“In an effort to remain consistent with our partners, and to deliver a common fire danger message, these refuges will begin Stage 1 fire restrictions,” said Paul Santavy, Refuge Manager for the C.M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge.  “The continued hot and dry weather conditions have increased the potential for unwanted human-caused fires. Our firefighting personnel have been busy fighting lightning-caused fires and we would like to reduce the chance of them having to respond to fires caused by unattended campfires and other human activity.”

These restrictions will remain in effect until rescinded.

Under Stage 1, the following acts are prohibited: building, maintaining, attending or using a fire or campfire, except within an established, metal fire ring in a developed recreation site; smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.

Exemptions to the above prohibitions are allowed for persons using a fire solely fueled by liquid petroleum or LPG; for a federal, state, or local officer, or member of an organized law enforcement, rescue, or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty; or persons with a permit or written authorization allowing the otherwise prohibited act or omission. 

The following are approved campfire locations: Crooked Creek Recreation Area in Petroleum County; James Kipp Recreation Area in Fergus County; Fourchette Creek Recreation Area in Phillips County; Bone Trail, Pines Recreation Area, and Duck Creek Bay in Valley County.

Even the smallest spark has the potential to cause significant damage, so please do your part to prevent wildfires: crush cigarettes dead out and never leave a campfire unattended.  Take precautions while recreating on public lands by always carrying a shovel, bucket and fire extinguisher.  Make sure your campfire is dead out before leaving your campsite.

For up-to-date fire restrictions information, please visit to www.firerestrictions.us/mt or call your local land management agency. 

For more information, please contact the C.M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge at 535-2800; Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge at 654-2863 and Medicine Lake National Wildlife Refuge at 789-2305.


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