- WILDLAND FIRE INFORMATION FOR TRAVELERS

WILDLAND FIRE INFORMATION FOR TRAVELERS

Montana is 93 million acres 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. 

Montana's wildland fire season generally starts mid-summer. At that time, the information below will be updated about current fires with potential impacts on travel. If a fire is occurring near your destination, remember it’s being managed by experts whose top priority is public safety. If an area is open, it’s safe. 

If you have questions or would like assistance with your Montana itinerary, feel free to call a travel counselor at 800.847.4868 or go to VISITMT.com to start a live chat.


Latest Activity - UPDATED WEEKLY CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST

Updated August 8, 2021 4:30 PM

Yellowstone National Park

Roads and attractions are open, please note that Yellowstone National Park has upgraded to "very high" fire danger and is currently under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions. Click here for Current Conditions.

Yellowstone National Park’s rivers and streams are closed to fishing in the afternoon and evening due to high-water temperatures and unprecedented low stream flows. This closure will protect the park’s native and wild trout fisheries. Learn more.

Traffic updates:

  • Beartooth Pass Closure (US-212,27 miles SW of Wyoming/Montana Border near mile marker 18-19) Monday through Thursday from 7 PM to 7 AM due to construction.
  • High visitation and road construction on the bridge leading into and out of the Old Faithful Area may result delays into and out of the area. To help reduce the delays, please follow any directions provided by rangers or signs.

Glacier National Park

Roads and attractions are open. No areas in Glacier National Park are closed at this time. Stage 2 Fire Restrictions are in effect to reduce the risk of fire and protect National Park Service lands, resources, facilities, and protect public and employee health and safety. 

The Boulder 2700 Fire Updates fire is burning in the Mission Mountains, near Flathead Lake. To ensure public and firefighter safety, Highway 35 is closed in both directions from Polson at the 93/35 junction to Blue Bay at mile marker 15. There is a Temporary Boating restrictions from Boulder Creek to Station Creek beginning at the shore and extending ½ mile out into Flathead Lake. This is located on the east shore of Flathead Lake. Buoys will be placed out on the lake to designate the restriction zone. Remember to stay out of the way of any aircraft needing to dip or scoop water from the lake when boating.

The Hay Creek Fire is burning west of the Polebridge area of Glacier National Park. It has not entered the park, but some park operations are affected. Bowman and Kintla Lake Campgrounds remain open. New wilderness permits are now being restricted entering and exiting the North Fork. Road and trail closures are in place Haycreek Fire ClosuresClick here for Current Conditions

Big Hole National Battlefield

To support the firefighting efforts on the Trail Creek Fire, Big Hole National Battlefield is closed from until further notice. North and South Van Houten, Miner Lakes, Twin Lakes and May Creek Campgrounds are closed. HWY 43 remains open, and motorists are asked to slow down and be alert for firefighters, heavy smoke and downed trees.  Click here for Current Conditions.

Continental Divide Trail (CDT)

There is a re-route in the Beaverhead Deerlodge National Forest from approximately 6 miles North of Lemhi Pass due to the Black Mountain Fire. The CDT is also closed from the Trail Creek Fire from the junction with National Forest System Trail #3810 near Big Lake Creek/Twin Lakes CG to Schulz Saddle at the junction with NFS Road #3137 Schulz Creek.  The Continental Divide Trail alerts page has the most up-to-date information, including closures and recommended re-routes. 

Road and Travel Conditions


Current Fire Restrictions

Across Montana, fire activity remains high. Most of Montana is in Stage 2 fire restrictions. Know before you go and use this map of current fire restriction information by area at MTFIREINFO.ORG

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.

A complete guide to Stage One and State Two Restrictions is available here

National Forest Alerts and Notices

National Forests and the ranger districts within each Forest have alerts and restrictions based on the conditions in the district.  Please check the current conditions in the Forest and district you plan to visit, including fire restrictions, camping regulations, and any trail or road closures.

Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest

Bitterroot National Forest

Custer Gallatin National Forest

Flathead National Forest

Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest

Kootenai National Forest

Lolo National Forest


Smoke and Air Quality Conditions

Air quality conditions are being impacted across Montana by smoke from numerous wildland fires within Montana and adjoining states. For up-to-date air quality conditions from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, click here.

Multiple factors contribute to air quality and conditions can change often. If smoke is heavy or you’re sensitive to it, you may wish to consider adjusting your itinerary until air quality improves. Try exploring a different area (see things to do at VisitMT.com). Even if you see smoke, it doesn't necessarily mean you’re close to a fire. Sometimes smoke blows in from hundreds of miles away. 

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services maintains a website with health information related to wildfire smoke. To access it, click here.


Webcams

See the view before you go from a variety of webcams across the state.
NOTE: The following links go to websites maintained by third parties.

State Agencies

National Park Service


Additional Resources

Wildland Fires are No Drone Zones

Flying a drone near a wildland fire is breaking the law.  Drones and firefighting aircraft don't mix. No Drone Zone PSA

Do Your Part This Wildland Fire Season

As the weather becomes warmer and wildland vegetation, or fuels, begin to dry out, it is time to plan for wildland fires. Here are some tips to help you #RecreateResponsibly and do your part for wildfire prevention and safety during this fire season.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - Know how to prevent wildfires by properly using outdoor equipment, learning campfire safety, and checking for fire restrictions and closures.

PLAN AHEAD – Know what fire restrictions are in place at your destination, and check if campfires, barbecues, and flammables are allowed.

EXPLORE LOCALLY – Impacts from wildfire can change your travel plans. Have a back-up plan, like close-to-home gems that you have yet to explore.

PRACTICE PHYSICAL DISTANCING – Give people space – it’s critical to not crowd firefighting efforts. Wildfires are no-drone-zones.

PLAY IT SAFE – From fireworks to camp stoves, understand the potentially explosive nature of your toys and tools – some may be restricted in your location.

LEAVE NO TRACE – Keep your campfire small, ensure that its out completely and cold to the touch prior to leaving or going to sleep.

BUILD AN INCLUSIVE OUTDOORS – Everyone experiences the outdoors differently, and we can work together to keep our communities safe.