No Smoking Bans In Effect For Fire Prevention
By Toby Trigger

Posted: July 24, 2016

In Effect: campfires and smoking will be banned at the Broadus Bridge Fishing Access Site in Powder River County, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

Powder River County Commissioners are enacting Stage 1 fire restrictions throughout the county Thursday due to increasingly dry conditions and concerns about potential human-caused fires. FWP follows the county’s lead in placing fire restrictions on its properties within that county, so its restrictions also begin Thursday at noon at the Broadus Bridge FAS.

Signage will announce the restrictions at Broadus Bridge FAS. These restrictions are in effect until further notice.

Stage 1 restrictions mean that people cannot build or maintain a campfire. People also may not smoke except within an enclosed vehicle or building or in an area at least three feet in diameter that is cleared of flammable materials. Recreationists may cook on a liquid petroleum gas or propane stove that can be turned on and off.

As of Tuesday, 13 Montana counties were under drought alerts, including Carter County in southeastern Montana.

Powder River County has seen four recent fire wildfire starts. The most recent and largest, the Odell Fire, was started by lightning Tuesday and by Wednesday had burned 370 acres on Forest Service land 17 miles south of Ashland. Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service crews are on site. The Cache Creek Fire was started by lightning on Sunday and burned 112 acres on private land in one day. Located 13 miles west-southwest of Broadus, it was initially manned by county and Department of Natural Resources and Conservation crews, but DNRC was released by the county. The Stacy Fire burned three acres 19 miles northeast of Ashland before being controlled on Saturday. The coal seam-caused Pinto Fire claimed 23.5 acres of private land 21 miles southwest of Broadus before being controlled July 9.

The Powder River County resolution notes that “current fire danger levels are expected to continue in the range between very high and extreme.” The resolution also states, “The rapid onset and movement of fires may require Incident Commanders and Law Enforcement agencies to act immediately and at any time, to protect persons and their property.”

News release from Montana FWP