Cascade County implements Stage I fire restrictions

Cascade County Commissioners voted Friday to implement Stage 1 fire restrictions in the county. The decision was made on the recommendation of rural fire chiefs, including Jason McAllister of Vaughn Fire and Rescue Volunteer Fire Department, who said about a dozen other Montana counties have also gone to Stage 1 restrictions.

The restrictions go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 5, McAllister said.

That means the following are prohibited:

  • 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.

Planning for the worst: Things to know in case of major fires in Cascade County


Exemptions are

  • 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 inthe performance of an official duty;
  • All land within a city boundary is exempted;
  • Other exemptions unique to each agency/tribe;
  • Campfires allowed within established steel fire grates at all state parks and some fishing access sites under Stage I Fire Restrictions—consult the FWP Restrictions and Closures page or the nearest FWP regional office for listing of fishing access sites where fires are allowed in established steel fire grates.

Anyone violating the restrictions could be fined up to $5,000 individually or $10,000 for an organization and up to six months in jail. You can also be held liable for all suppression costs and damages if you start a fire.

Open burning has been prohibited in Cascade County since early July.

All burning prohibited in Cascade County until further notice due to high fire danger

Great Falls Fire Rescue Chief Steve Hester said campfires and other types of open burning are already prohibited by city ordinances.