Protecting People, Homes & Natural Resources | SW Montana
STAGE II Restrictions FAQs
1. How do I find out if my land is classified as forested? Montana Law defines forestland as
land that has enough timber, standing or down, slash, or brush to constitute in the judgment of the department a fire menace to life
or property. Grassland and agricultural areas are included when those areas are intermingled with or contiguous to and no further
than one-half mile from areas of forestland. Your tax statement has this information about your land. If you cannot access your statement,
check with your local unit office.
2. How do I know what a designated road or trail is? Call the local land management agency where
you would like to go. If the land is classified as forested (see above), contact the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.
If they are not, contact your local agency. They should be able to advise you and furnish maps of trails that are safe and open for
3. Do these restrictions apply to towns and/or private property? Many cities and towns in Montana also adopt the restrictions,
and would therefore cover those areas inside their jurisdiction. County and city government may also impose further restrictions on
private, city, or county-owned lands. These can be even more prohibitive than what is issued by the state.
4. Do these restrictions
apply to valley bottom areas? Restrictions written by the Montana DNRC only apply to all state land and all state and private forested
land. Restrictions written by county and other agencies generally apply to valley bottom area that is outside of the classified forestland.
5. If I conduct an activity that is restricted, can I be fined? Yes. The amounts may differ depending on the
agency with authority in that area, but Montana State Law allows for a fine of up to six months in jail and $500.00.
6. Can I be held
liable if I start a fire? Yes. You could be responsible for paying some or even all of the costs that it took to put the fire out.
Check with the according agency on specific regulations.
Missoula County Fire
Wildfire can happen in the blink of an eye and if you're on a grassy, sun-drenched slope when a fire starts, you (or your home) can be in extreme danger.
When our vegetation (from grass to trees) becomes drought-stressed and tinder dry, MCFPA member partners will impose fire-use restrictions. On occasion, AS NEEDED, officials may also close temporarily some popular Open Space sites -- as a public safety precaution. When this happens, we'll post all pertinent information here.
Missoula County officials want all citizens to recreate safely during WILDLAND FIRE season. Remember: One little spark can equal a big fire. So, please, be careful out there as you explore the Big Sky State.
STAGE I Restrictions - WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
1. NO Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire unless noted
in the exemptions. Click here for Exemptions
2. NO 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.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
FIRE USE RESTRICTIONS
GENERAL OUTDOOR BURNING SEASON IS OPEN
March 1 - August 31
PRESCRIBED WILDLAND BURNING SEASON IS OPEN March 1 - November 30
ESSENTIAl AGRICULTURAL BURNING IS OPEN
March 1 - October 31