FWP restricts use of fire in south central Montana

BILLINGS Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has restricted use of most fire on its south central Montana fishing access sites and wildlife management areas because of extreme fire danger. The restrictions apply to all FWP fishing access sites and wildlife management areas in Sweet Grass, Yellowstone, Carbon, Stillwater, Treasure, Wheatland, Golden Valley, Musselshell and Big Horn counties. County commissioners in several south central and eastern Montana counties have agreed to restrict activities to prevent wildfires during the coming weeks, when high temperatures, strong wind and low humidity are predicted. Under the restrictions, FWP will prohibit all campfires and open flames in fishing access sites and wildlife management areas. Propane and LPG camp stoves are allowed. Smoking is banned except in enclosed vehicles or buildings or in an area that is cleared of all flammable materials within three feet. At all south central Montana state parks, open fires are allowed in established iron fire rings and grills. Those properties include Cooney, Tongue River Reservoir, Chief Plenty Coups, Pictograph Cave and Lake Elmo state parks.Specific information about fire-restriction options available to federal, state, county and tribal governments is available online at http://fwp.mt.gov/news/drought/definitions.html.

Snowmelt runoff well below average

Bighorn Lake (Yellowtail Reservoir) April through July inflow to Yellowtail Reservoir is forecast at 690,400 acre-feet, which is 62 percent of the 30 year average of 1,108,200 AF. Approximately 354,400 AF of the forecasted amount flowed into Yellowtail Reservoir during April and May, leaving 336,000 AF of inflow forecasted for June through July.