Fall has arrived and that means if you plan to burn now through November 30, 2023, there are restrictions and requirements in place to protect Montana’s air quality. Burning should comply with state and local air quality rules. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) encourages safe burning practices and good judgment to prevent wildfires.
Follow these steps to burn September through November:
• Obtain a permit from your local fire control authority at https://app.egovmt.com/burnpermit/. If your county is not listed on the website, call your local fire control authority to obtain one.
• Check for restrictions at Open Burning | Montana DEQ (mt.gov) or by calling the ventilation hotline at 800-225-6779. DEQ issues time, elevation and county restrictions for open burning.
• Check with your local air quality program for restrictions in Missoula, Cascade, Yellowstone, Lincoln and Flathead counties.
• On the day of your burn, activate your county permit.
• Be aware of local conditions and burn smart.
• Check back Dec. 1 for winter burn season requirements. During winter burn season, in addition to a permit from your local fire control authority, DEQ approval is required and can be obtained here: Winter Open Burning.
Only clean, untreated wood and plant material may be burned. Do not burn: food wastes, plastics, wood that has been coated, painted, stained, or treated, dead animals or animal droppings, rubber materials, chemicals, asphalt shingles, tar paper, hazardous wastes or structures containing these materials. The DEQ website has information about what materials can and cannot be burned, frequently asked questions about open burning, state-issued major open burning permits, and local contact information. For more information, visit: burnclosures.mt.gov
Before starting fires any time of year, please remember to contact your local authorities to provide notification of the burn, check for fire safety concerns and obtain necessary local open burning permits.
To mitigate the risk for catastrophic wildfires, DEQ works closely with local, state and federal partners to manage prescribed burns that reduce fuels. Weather permitting, these fires are scheduled during favorable burn windows to minimize impacts to air quality. For more information on specific prescribed fires in your community, check out the Montana/Idaho Airshed Group website at: https://mi.airshedgroup.org/