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The original item was published from 7/5/2017 12:03:52 PM to 9/1/2017 12:05:02 AM.

News Flash

Butte-Silver Bow

Posted on: July 5, 2017

[ARCHIVED] For Immediate Release: Burn Ban and Campfire Safety-2017

For Immediate Release

Date: July 5, 2017

Contact: Brian Doherty, Assistant Chief/Fire Marshal

Phone: 406-497-6482

UPDATE: County Wide Burn Ban / Call Volume over the Fourth of July Holiday

Every year our community members look forward to summer vacations, camping, family reunions, picnics, and the 4th of July. Summertime, however, also brings fires and injuries due to fireworks and outdoor cooking. The Butte-Silver Bow Fire Prevention Office encourages summer fire safety in our community with the safety tips provided at the bottom of this press release.


The Butte-Silver Bow Fire Department had a busy 4th of July holiday for 2017.

  • Call volume for our communities celebrations resulted in 40 calls for service: 21 medical responses, 18 fire calls, and several motor vehicle accidents.
  • Fire prevention activities: 20 fireworks stand inspections/permits, permitting services, inspections/education & pre-planning activities, and site inspections for our July 3rd   fireworks display.  


As of July 1st, the City and County of Butte-Silver Bow has initiated a county-wide burn ban. In cooperation with the Anaconda Unit of DNRC and the Southwest Montana Lands Office, the Butte-Silver Bow Fire Prevention Bureau will cease issuing burn permits and disallow the activation of burn permits. Numerous counties in Montana have entered Stage 1 fire restrictions due to the hot and dry conditions, which can lead to wildfires caused by human activity. Butte-Silver Bow is NOT under any Stage 1 conditions at this time; however, due to our hot and dry conditions, burn permits will not be allowed within our county until further notice with an anticipated re-opening some time during the fall burn season.  

Safety Tips for Campfires

  • Campfires are the nation's leading cause of children's camping injuries and the primary catalyst for damaging forest fires.
  • Campfire building may be safely undertaken if you practice proper burning techniques and safety measures to protect yourself and Montana forests.

Prepare your Fire Site

  • Check the weather forecast. Weather fluctuations, such as sudden gusts of wind, could make debris burning spark a wildfire.
  • A safe burning site will be far away from power lines, overhanging limbs, buildings, automobiles, equipment, rotten stumps, shrubs, dry grass and leaves. The fire will have a vertical clearance at least three (3) times the height of the pile, as heat from the fire extends far past the actual flames that you see.
  • The ground around the fire or burn site should be surrounded by gravel or mineral soil (dirt) for at least ten feet in all directions. Keep the surrounding area watered down.
  • Keep the fire in a contained unit such as a BBQ unit, hibachi or a small pit with rocks around it. Building a fire directly on the ground can allow the fire to spread underground through root systems or decaying material.

Safely Start the Fire

  • When building a fire, start with dry twigs and small sticks. Add larger sticks as the fire builds up. Put the largest pieces of wood on last, pointing them toward the center of the fire, and gradually push them into the flames.
  • Never use flammable liquids to ignite or keep your fire burning. Avoid gasoline, diesel fuel, lighter fluid and other dangerous fuels.
  • After lighting the fire, do not discard the match until it is cold. Douse it with water to be sure.
  • Keep campfires small and do not let them get out of hand. The suggested size is 2' x 2' x 2'.
  • Stack extra firewood upwind away from the fire
  • Never allow children or pets near the fire and do not leave them unsupervised.
  • Teach kids how to stop, drop, and roll if their clothing catches fire. Have a fire extinguisher on hand for emergencies and teach children how to use it.
  • Keep plenty of water nearby and have a shovel for throwing sand on the fire if it gets out of control.
  • Never leave a campfire unattended. Even a small breeze could quickly cause the fire to spread.
  • When extinguishing the fire, drown it with water. Make sure all embers, coals, and sticks are wet. If you do not have water, use dirt. Mix plenty of soil and sand with the embers. Continue adding and stirring until all material is cooled.
  • Do not bury your coals, they can smolder and start to burn again.

Additional Info...
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