Restrictions outlawing most fires and other open flames went into effect across Jefferson County beginning at 12:01 a.m., just after midnight, on June 10.
In response to drought conditions and high fire danger—and in concert with the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Bureau of Land Management and Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks—the Jefferson County Commission voted on July 6 to enact stage-one fire restrictions beginning June 10, with no expiration date. In a social media post announcing the measure, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office said the restrictions would remain in place "until conditions improve."
According to Doug Dodge, the county's fire warden and disaster and emergency services coordinator, the county restrictions govern all private non-forested lands outside of the incorporated cities of Boulder and Whitehall. Private forested lands are governed by the state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation's stage-one restrictions, he said. State public lands are covered by stage-one restrictions from the DNRC and FWP, and federal lands are covered by stage-one restrictions from the Forest Service and BLM.
Under stage-one restrictions, all campfires are banned unless within a metal fire ring smaller than 3 feet in diameter at a designated campground or recreation site. Fires in rock rings are not allowed. Fires larger than 48 inches in diameter, classified as debris fires, are already prohibited across the county.
For cooking, "stove fires, campfires and charcoal fires" are allowed only in designated campgrounds and recreation sites, according to an announcement from the Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest, where stage-one restrictions went into effect beginning on Friday. However, "camping stoves fueled solely by liquid petroleum or LPG [liquefied petroleum gas] fuels" and that can be turned off are allowed everywhere.
The restrictions also outlaw smoking, except when within a vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or a space greater than 3 feet in diameter that has been cleared of all flammable material.
Fireworks are illegal on federal and state public lands.