With Montana already dealing with significant wildfire issues, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is starting to prohibit campfires.

Where? Well, while for the most part we are still talking about areas in eastern Montana, we should probably assume there will be additions to these. The point is make sure you check the current regulations at any FWP campsite you may have as part of your outdoor recreation plans. But for now...

Campfires will be banned at most Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks properties in Yellowstone, Carbon and Stillwater counties starting this week because of fire danger. FWP followed the lead of Yellowstone, Carbon and Stillwater county commissioners, who voted this week to enter Stage I fire restrictions countywide.

Affected fishing access sites in Yellowstone County include Broadview Pond at Broadview and – along the Yellowstone River – Duck Creek, South Hills, East Bridge, Voyagers Rest, Gritty Stone, Bundy Bridge, Captain Clark and Manuel Lisa. The ban also includes Lake Elmo and Pictograph Cave state parks. In Stillwater County, the restricted fishing access sites on the Yellowstone River include Buffalo Mirage, Indian Fort and Holmgren Ranch. Along the Stillwater River, the restrictions affect fishing access sites at Absaroka, Buffalo Jump, Castle Rock, Cliff Swallow, Fireman’s Point, Homestead Isle, Jeffrey’s Landing, Moraine, Swinging Bridge and Whitebird. The Rosebud Isle fishing access site at Nye also is restricted.

In Carbon County, the restrictions apply to Cooney State Park as well as fishing access sites at Beaver Lodge, Bluewater Springs, Bridger, Bridger Bend, Bull Springs, Clarks Fork Yellowstone, Horse Thief Station, Water Birch and Weymiller.

Stage 1 restrictions ban campfires except where specifically exempted and allow smoking only in vehicles and areas three feet in diameter that are cleared of flammable materials. FWP has no exemptions for campfires or charcoal grills in fishing access sites and wildlife management areas in south central Montana. People still may cook on an LP gas or propane stove that can be turned on and off.

The restrictions are in response to dry, warm weather that could increase the danger of human-caused wildfires. They will be in effect until further notice.

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