Open Burning Information

Open Burning Frequently Asked Questions

Open Burning Seasons Cheat Sheet

Why Can't I Burn?

Open Burning Season (March 1 - August 31):

Open Burning Instructions:
  1. Obtain a permit from your local county fire control authority (many counties can be found here).
  2. On the day of your burn, activate your county permit here
  3. Be aware of local conditions and burn smart.
  4. Check back here on September 1 for fall burning restrictions.

Air Quality and Dispersion Discussion for March 23-26, 2017

Air quality is good in most locations around Montana due to good afternoon dispersion. There have been occasional moderate air quality impacts in the narrow valleys of northwest Montana during the overnight and early morning hours, with conditions improving each afternoon. Dispersion is expected to be good for the end of the week and weekend as the pressure gradient tightens on Friday and southerly surface winds increase in western Montana. Beginning Saturday, a trough of low pressure will move across the northwest, bringing an increased chance of precipitation and generally good dispersion. Overnight impacts may once again reach moderate levels, especially in northwest Montana during this time, but overall conditions should improve each afternoon. 

Current air quality can be found on the Today’s Air site

 

Additional Burning Information:

 

Winter Burning Information

 

 Between December 1 and February 28, the state is divided into two separate zones:

Western Montana Zone:
Lincoln, Flathead, Sanders, Lake, Mineral, Missoula, Powell, Lewis and Clark, Ravalli, Granite, Deer Lodge, Silver Bow, Jefferson, Broadwater, Beaverhead, Madison, Gallatin, Park (south of I-90)
 




I’m in the western zone. What do I do?
Burner is required to first submit a written request to the Department. Burning is always encouraged before December 1 or after February 28. Only essential winter burning will be considered. To receive the written request form, please call 406-444-3490. Burners may only burn during the times specified by the Department.

Why can't I burn?

Eastern Montana Zone:
Glacier, Pondera, Teton, Cascade, Meagher, Wheatland, Park (north of I-90), Toole, Liberty, Hill, Choteau, Blaine, Judith Basin, Fergus, Sweet Grass, Stillwater, Carbon, Golden Valley, Big Horn, Yellowstone, Musselshell, Petroleum, Phillips, Valley, Garfield, Treasure, Rosebud, Powder River, Carter, Custer, Fallon, Prairie, Wibaux, Dawson, McCone, Richland, Roosevelt, Sheridan, Daniels

I’m in the eastern zone. What do I do?
Burner is only required to notify the Department prior to ignition. To notify the Department, and to check for any restrictions, call 406-444-3490.
 

 

Thank you for working with the Air Resources Management Bureau to accomplish your burn.  

 

County Open Burning Programs

Some counties may have air quality related open burning programs that are approved by the Board of Environmental Review.  Please refer to these counties for air quality related open burning requirements:

Missoula County - All outdoor burning requires a permit through burnpermit.mt.gov. Burns must be activated prior to burning each day and the activation process will alert burners to any restrictions currently in effect.      
     For more information call: 406-258-4755
     Missoula County Open Burning Hotline:  406-258-4900
     Northern Missoula County Open Burning Hotline:  406-677-2899

Flathead County  – 406-751-8144

Yellowstone County – 406-256-6841

Cascade County – 406-454-6800

Lincoln County – 406-283-2444
     Lincoln County Air Quality Hotline - 406-293-5644

 

Open Burning Links

Weather, Air Quality, and Open Burning Brochure

Near real time air quality monitoring information:
http://www.todaysair.mt.gov

Minor Open Burning Requirements Flyer:
Montana Open Burning Periods

State Air Quality Open Burning Permits Webpage:
http://deq.mt.gov/AirQuality/airOpenBrn.aspx

Open Burning Rules:
http://deq.mt.gov/dir/legal/Chapters/CH08-06.PDF

Visibility Ranges and Health Effects Categories:
http://deq.mt.gov/FireUpdates/VisibilityRanges.aspx

Winter Air Quality Updates:
http://deq.mt.gov/AirQuality/AQWinter/default.aspx

Recommendations for safely and effectively using wood burning devices:
http://www.epa.gov/burnwise/

Wildfire Smoke:
http://deq.mt.gov/FireUpdates/default.aspx

State Issued Major Open Burning Permits:
http://deq.mt.gov/AirQuality/SmokeManagement.aspx