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Gallatin County Emergency Management

Preparing Our Community

Serving Belgrade, Bozeman, Manhattan, Three Forks, West Yellowstone & Unincorporated Gallatin County.

Gallatin County Emergency Management

Current Information

Clarkston Fire Contained

Clarkston, MT – The Clarkston Fire located North of the Clarkston is now contained.  Approximately 55 firefighters spent Tuesday mopping up hot spots and patrolling the fire.  As of Tuesday evening the fire is contained, ready to go into patrol status and the firefighters will be sent home.  While some smoke from the interior of the fire may continue to be seen over the coming days, the fire’s perimeter is secure and poses no risk of escaping.  Firefighters from the Clarkston Fire Service Area will continue to patrol the fire in the coming days.

The Clarkston Fire started Monday afternoon and quickly grew to a final mapped size of 143 acres and an estimated suppression cost of $75,000.  Two non-residential structures  were lost during the early phase of the fire.  Firefighters from Gallatin and Broadwater Counties, Custer-Gallatin and Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forests and the Montana DNRC responded on Monday to contain the fire.

The residents of Gallatin County are reminded that we are in the middle of fire season and to use safe fire practices when working or recreating outside.  While our area is wetter than many places in Montana, the Clarkston Fire is a reminder that our community is still capable of burning right now.

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What Are Fire Restrictions

This time of the year many places around Montana implement Fire Restrictions to help minimize the risk of fires getting out of control.  Typically these are called Stage 1 and Stage 2 Restrictions by state and federal land management agencies (and some counties).  For private property (except classified forested lands) in Gallatin County fire protection agencies simply closes open burning for  activities requiring a burn permit, which is pretty much anything other than a recreational fire according to the Gallatin County Fire Permit and Control Ordinance.  In extreme conditions the Gallatin County Commission can issue a burn ban that also shuts down recreational fires.  So, for your private property in Gallatin County you don’t need to worry about Stage 1 or 2 Fire Restrictions.  Visit burnpermits.mt.gov to see if your fire protection agency is allowing open burning.  In cases where recreational fires are restricted by a Burn Ban, the county will broadly disseminate that information (it is very rare to implement a burn ban).

If you are recreating on state or federal public lands, then you need to follow any fire restrictions that are in place.  Unfortunately it is not always simple to tell what restrictions are in place and they can very from agency to agency.  Some information can often be obtained from firerestrictions.us and when in doubt, contact the land management agency (i.e. Forest Service, Fish, Wildlife & Parks, etc…) responsible for where you are going.

Below are the standard restrictions:

Stage 1 Fire Restrictions

  • Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire unless noted in the exemptions below.
  • 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:

  • Persons with a written permit that specifically authorizes the otherwise prohibited act.
  • Persons using a device solely fueled by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels that can be turned on and off. Such devices can only be used in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within 3 feet of the device.
  • Persons conducting activities in those designated areas where the activity is specifically authorized by written posted notice.
  • Any Federal, State, or local officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.
  • All land within a city boundary is exempted.
  • Other exemptions unique to each agency/tribe.

Stage 2 Fire Restrictions

  • Building maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire.
  • 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.
  • The following acts are prohibited from 1:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.:
    • Operating any internal combustion engine.
    • Welding, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.
    • Using an explosive.
  • A one hour foot patrol in the work area is required following cessation of all activities as identified in #3 above.
  • Operating motorized vehicles off designated roads and trails.

Exemptions:

  • Persons with a written permit that specifically authorizes the otherwise prohibited act.
  • Persons using a device fueled solely by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels that can be turned on and off. Such devices can only be used in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within 3 feet of the device.
  • Operating generators with an approved spark arresting device within an enclosed vehicle or building or in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within three feet of the generator.
  • Operating motorized vehicles on designated roads and trails.
  • Emergency repair of public utilities and railroads as per attached conditions.
  • Persons conducting activities in those designated areas where the activity is specifically authorized by written posted notice.
  • Any Federal, State, or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.
  • All land within a city boundary is exempted.
  • Other exemptions unique to each agency/tribe.

Land Management Agencies in Gallatin County:

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