Missoula County has had Stage 1 fire restrictions in place for months now, but Department of Natural Resources and Conservation Spokesman Jordan Koppen says many people are breaking the rules when it comes to starting fires.

"Even on the weekdays and especially on the weekends too, they go out and recreate," Koppen said. "They want to have there campfires and as it seems like many of them should know by now that we are still in Stage 1, and were in the middle of fire season. It's extremely important to follow these rules we don’t want any human caused fires right now when the fires are being caused by lightning."

Koppen says that fire crews respond to illegal campfires many times, every week.

"Probably throughout the southwestern land office I could give you a total number, but it's numerous," Koppen said. "Probably well over 15 to 20, and that's just with people having campfires where they think they can but they can't. It's one of those things where you have to know where you're at and know what locations does and does not allow campfires."

Illegal campfires are an even greater threat to public safety now that firefighting resources are currently maxed in western Montana. Koppen reminds everyone to go to firerestrictions.us for up to date, Stage 1 fire restriction guidelines.


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