Stage 1 fire restrictions will be in place beginning Friday, Yellowstone County residents must refrain from building a fire or smoking outdoors unless it’s inside a three-foot circle cleared of all flammable material

The Yellowstone County Board of Commissioners voted 3-0 Tuesday to enact the fire restrictions.

Tim Miller, the county’s public works director who’s helping to fill in at the county’s Department Disaster and Emergency Services, told commissioners that recent fire activity, “the tremendous amount of fuel on hand” and high temperatures forecast for the next few days are prompting the fire restrictions. He said he polled rural fire chiefs, “and everyone seems to be in agreement this is a good thing.”

According to resolution, there are exceptions to the fire restrictions, including:

  • People using a fire solely fueled by liquid petroleum or liquefied petroleum gas — but only in a barren area or one that’s cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within three feet of the device.
  • 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 or town is exempted.
  • Recreational fires or commercial-type fixed or portable outdoor fireplaces when there’s a fire extinguisher present.
  • Farmers and ranchers or companies with a valid burn permit and a written permit from the county fire warden or local fire chief specifically authorizing the burn.

As part of the current restrictions, the county fire warden is to cease issuing new burn permits during the period as long as fire restrictions are in place.