Around the fire

Madison County moves back to Stage 1 burn restrictions

Following suit with neighboring counties and public lands, Madison County has reverted to from Stage 2 to Stage 1 burn restrictions.

Madison County Director of Disaster and Emergency Services Joe Brummell made the request to county commissioners on August 31. Their approval made the move back to Stage 1 burn restrictions official, effective immediately.

Stage 1 burn restriction still prohibits open burning of any kind as well as the use of fireworks. The big difference, said Brummell, is that charcoal-fueled grill cooking is now allowed as well as campfires at developed picnic and campsites, given they are in fixed metal-ringed pits.

Brummell expressed his surprise that federal lands also reverted to Stage 1 restrictions, citing the many fires that were inadvertently started by hunters last year. With archery season set to start Sep. 4, Brummell plans to meet with fire management officers as well as representatives from the Department of Natural Resources to discuss ways to emphasize the importance of fire safety for hunters.

Brummell said he hopes for a wet start to the fall so he can eventually request a full lift on burn bans. That took place on Nov. 10 of last year, and in early October the two years prior.

Madison County Stage 1 burn restrictions are as follows:


• No open burning of any kind.

• No use of fireworks.


• Fires within liquid-fueled or gas-fueled stoves, fireplaces within buildings, charcoal grill.

• Fires within wood burning stoves within buildings only.

• Fire suppression or fire department training fires.

• Small recreational fires at developed picnic or campground sites contained in fixed permanent metal/steel fire pits (ROCK RINGS ARE CONSIDERED TEMPORARY NOT PERMANENT) with flame lengths not more than three feet.

• Residential use of charcoal grills, tiki torches, fires in chimneys or other portable fireplaces or patio fire pits, as long as the fires are supervised by a responsible person at least 18 years old.

• Professional fireworks displays approved by the district fire chief for the location of the event. • Persons with approved exemption that authorizes the prohibited act (exemptions obtained through Madison Office of Emergency Management/Fire Warden).

• While current restrictions are similar, federal lands are not included in the county burn ban. Check with U.S. Forest Service office for federal land status or visit

• Check with local municipalities for ordinances or resolutions concerning the authorized use of fireworks.

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The Madisonian

65 N. MT Hwy 287
Ennis, MT 59729

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