Fire Information for Travelers
Know before you go
Montana is home to 147,000 square miles of spectacular unspoiled nature. Because of our diverse landscape and weather, wildfires happen as a natural part of Montana’s ecology. Sometimes a fire occurs near a popular destination, but there’s no reason to let it stop you from enjoying your Montana experience. On this page you'll find information and resources to navigate Montana's wildfire season. Here's what you need to know to be safe.
Sometimes, activity restrictions are put in place to prevent wildfires and minimize risk.
Stage 1 Fire Restrictions
Stage 1 Fire Restrictions require users to build, maintain, attend or use campfires and charcoal fires only at developed or designated recreation sites or campgrounds in an agency provided metal fire ring. Smoking is allowed only within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is cleared of all flammable materials. Remember to bring a bucket, water, shovel and to always leave your campfire dead out, which means no heat to the touch.
Stage 2 Fire Restrictions
Stage 2 Fire Restrictions prohibit building maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire; 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; operating motorized vehicles off designated roads and trails.
Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks maintains a guide to Stage One and State Two Restrictions and Closure Definitions at https://fwp.mt.gov.
Smoke from wildfires can impact air quality in Montana. But, even if you see smoke, it doesn't necesarily mean there is a fire in the area. Sometimes smoke blows in from hundreds of miles away. Multiple factors contribute to air quality and conditions can change often. If you are particularly sensative, you may want to adjust your itinerary and enjoy indoor activities until air quality improves.
Route Closures and Alternatives
Occasionally, wildfire activity causes road closures. Be sure to check road conditions and know before you go, or find new areas to explore.
With over 147,000 square miles to explore, there are endless ways to discover Montana. No matter where you go, you're in for an incredible adventure.