BILLINGS, Mont. (NMB) – Possessing, discharging and using fireworks is strictly prohibited on all Bureau of Reclamation lands and water bodies. These areas consist of multiple reservoirs, surrounding lands, and campgrounds across the state of Montana.
These areas include Anita Reservoir, Bighorn Reservoir, Canyon Ferry Reservoir, Clark Canyon Reservoir, Fresno Reservoir, Gibson Reservoir, Helena Valley Reservoir, Nelson Reservoir, Pishkun Reservoir, Tiber Reservoir known locally as Lake Elwell, and Willow Creek Reservoir.
“Even though drought conditions across Montana are generally improving, wildfires still pose a significant risk in our region,” Ryan Newman, Montana Area Manager said. “We hope all Reclamation visitors and recreationists enjoy a safe and fun holiday while observing the fireworks prohibition on public lands.”
According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks started an estimated 19,500 fires in 2018, including 1,900 structure fires, 500 vehicle fires, and 17,100 outside and other fires. These fires caused five deaths, 46 civilian injuries, and $105 million in direct property damage.
Reclamation expects an increase of visitors during the upcoming holiday weekend, and many reservoir sites will have a heightened presence of law enforcement patrols. Visitors are encouraged to take all water safety precautions, practice patience at congested boat ramp and dock areas, clean up all their trash and litter, and be respectful to other recreationists enjoying public lands.
There are 289 Reclamation project areas that have developed recreation facilities and opportunities available for public use. Over 100 are managed by a Federal recreation partner. Reclamation has approximately 6.5 million acres of land and water, most of which is available for public outdoor recreation. The 187 developed recreation areas managed by Reclamation or a non-Federal recreation partner draw over 24 million visits annually.
Courtesy of the Bureau of Reclamation