As March 1 approaches, Montanans gear up for the start of open burning season.

From March 1 to August 31, controlled burns are allowed across the state.

However, it's essential to adhere to specific regulations and guidelines set forth by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to ensure both safety and environmental responsibility.

Montana Fire Restrictions

While burning is permitted year-round in Montana, different seasons bring various restrictions and requirements.

Steps for Burning March 1 through August 31

  1. Obtain a Permit: Individuals must acquire a permit from their local fire control authority before conducting any burning activities. Permits can typically be obtained online through the designated portal or by contacting the local authority directly.
  2. Check Air Quality Restrictions: It's crucial to check with the local air quality program for specific restrictions in certain counties, including Missoula, Cascade, Yellowstone, Lincoln, and Flathead counties. This step ensures compliance with regional regulations.
  3. Activate County Permit: Individuals must activate their county permit on the burn day to indicate compliance with local regulations.
  4. Burn Smart: Montanans are encouraged to remain aware of local conditions and practice responsible burning techniques to minimize smoke and mitigate the risk of wildfires.
  5. Stay Informed: Keep updated on any changes or updates regarding burning restrictions, particularly as the fall season approaches on September 1.

Permit Acquisition Process

To obtain a permit, individuals can visit the designated online portal.

If their county is not listed on the website, they should contact the local fire control authority directly to secure a permit.

Compliance and Safety Measures

While DEQ approval is not required during the open burning season, it's essential to seek permission and guidance from local fire control authorities before initiating any burning activities.

Additionally, individuals should contact their county health department to determine any specific air quality requirements at the local level.

Prohibited Materials in Montana

Only clean, untreated wood and plant material are permissible for burning.

It's essential to refrain from burning prohibited materials such as food waste, plastics, treated wood, rubber materials, chemicals, and hazardous wastes.

A comprehensive list of prohibited materials can be found on DEQ's open-burning website.

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