As of August 1, nearly all of southwestern Montana will be under stage one fire restrictions. The new restrictions bring limitations to both smokers and campers that all Montana residents should be aware of.

"The rule regarding smoking is that, if you do so outside of your car or an enclosed building, you've gotta be in a spot that is clear of flammable vegetation for at least a minimum of a three foot circle around you," said Missoula County Fire Prevention Association Spokesman Chris Johnson.

When it comes to campfires, the rules can be somewhat confusing, but a handy guide put together by the Missoula County Fire Protection Association should help. Johnson says that legal campfires need to be within a metal or concrete campfire ring and that they must also be within one of the few designated sites.

Below is a list of some of the different management areas where a campfire is permitted.

Bitterroot National Forest

Anaconda-Pintler and Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness Areas are exempt from the order. Campfires in campfire rings that are concrete, metal culvert rings, or iron-gate type rings will be allowed only at the following developed sites:

Stevensville Ranger District:

  • Charles Waters Campground
  • Larry Creek Group Site
  • Blodgett Creek Campground

Darby Ranger District:

  • Black Bear Campground
  • Schumaker Campground
  • Lake Como Recreation area
  • Upper Como Recreation Area
  • Como Picnic Sites
  • Lower Como Campground
  • Rock Creek Campground
  • Three Sisters Group Site

Sula Ranger District:

  • Martin Creek Campground
  • Jennings Camp
  • Indian Trees Campground
  • Spring Gulch Campground
  • Warm Springs Campground
  • Crazy Creek Horse Camp
  • Crazy Creek Campground
  • East Fork Guard Station

West Fork Ranger District:

  • Sam Billings Memorial Campground
  • Rombo Campground
  • Slate Creek Campground
  • Alta Campground
  • Fales Flat Group Area

Lolo National Forest

The Bob Marshall Complex, including the Monture Addition and the Scapegoat Wilderness Areas are exempt from the order. Campfires are allowed in campfire rings that are concrete, metal culvert, or iron-gate type rings will be allowed at the following developed sites:

Missoula Ranger District:

  • Norton Campground
  • Grizzly Campground
  • Dalles Campground
  • Harry's Flat Campground
  • Bitterroot Flat Campground
  • Earl Tennant Campground
  • Lolo Creek Campground
  • Lee Creek Campground

 Plains/Thompson Falls Ranger District:

  • Cascade Campground
  • Copper King Campground
  • Gold Rush Campground
  • Fishtrap Creek Campground
  • Fishtrap Lake Campground
  • Clark Memorial Campground

Superior Ranger District:

  • East and West Quartz Campground
  • Little Joe Camping Area
  • Missoula Lake Camping Area
  • Diamond Lake Camping Area
  • Trout Creek Campground
  • Cabin City Campground
  • Moore Lake Camping Area
  • Sloway Campground

Seeley Ranger District:

  • Big Larch Campground
  • River Point Campground
  • Lake Alva Campground
  • Rainy Lake Campground
  • Lakeside Campground
  • Tamaracks Resort
  • Seely Lake Campground
  • Big Nelson (Cooper's Lake) Campground
  • Inez Campground
  • Camp Paxson
  • The Lodges on Seeley Lake Resort

Ninemile Ranger District:

  • Kreis Pond Campground
  • Clearwater Crossing Campground
  • Grand Menard Picnic Area

Bureau of Land Management

Campfires are allowed within metal fire pits at the following BLM recreation sites:

  • Thibodeau Campground
  • Garnett Ghost Town Picnic Area
  • East Bank on the upper Big Hole River

Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribal Lands

Fires are allowed in approved campgrounds (list forthcoming) and/or for cultural reasons: for tanning, sweats, etc. Please contact CS&KT officials with questions regarding the order.

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