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Open Burning Information

Open Burning Frequently Asked Questions

Open Burning Seasons Cheat Sheet

Why Can't I Burn?

 

Fall Burning Season: September 1 – November 30

 

During fall burning season all burners must:

  • Obtain a permit from their county fire control authority
  • Check this website or call the Ventilation Hotline at 800-225-6779 for any restrictions the day of the burn
  • If there are no restrictions be aware of local conditions and burn smart

Current Burning Restrictions:

 The following county restrictions are in place:

October 22, 2014

Dispersion and Air Quality Forecast

Dispersion is expected to be good on Wednesday, October 22, 2014. Air quality is expected to be good in most locations. Some locations may see wood stove smoke impacts build up due to cold overnight temperatures. Air quality in Libby reached unhealthy for sensitive groups on Tuesday due to wood stove impacts. Cold overnight temperatures may lead to elevated concentrations on Wednesday as well.

Meteorology

Unsettled weather will dominate the next few days. The trof of low pressure that brought clouds, rain, and breezy continues to western Montana on Tuesday will exit the area on Wednesday. Winds will stay on the breezy side throughout the day prior to the arrival of another trof on Thursday. Surface winds will be from the south southwest in areas west of the Divide and from the west in areas east of the Divide. Overall, there will be good mixing conditions, however, the cold overnight temperatures may lead to decreased air quality in some valleys due to the build-up of wood stove smoke.

Open Burning Restrictions

Open burning is restricted below 2500 ft. in Lincoln county due to elevated wood stove smoke on the valley floor. Open burning in Cascade, Flathead, Missoula, and Yellowstone counties, and within the Libby Impact Zone, is at the discretion of the county air quality program. The contact information for these counties is provided below.

 

County Air Quality 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 - 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 – 406-283-2443 
     Lincoln County Flyer 

 

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.
 

 

If you have submitted a written request and received permission with a burner identification number, please adhere to the instructions below. The Department will be working hard all winter to assess dispersion conditions and expected air quality in your area, and identify a timeframe that will minimize the impacts of your proposed burns to air quality. 

  1. Please check this website often. It will be updated Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, by 5:00 pm. Burning “windows of opportunity” are infrequent and forecasts are subject to change.
  2. Determine if your assigned wintertime burn identification number is listed as having a possible “window of opportunity” on a given day. If so, call the Department's Open Burning Program Permitter Doug Kuenzli at 444-4267 at least 24 hours prior to the proposed date to create a burn plan. Please only call between 8:00 am-4:00 pm.
  3. Notify local fire control authorities prior to igniting your burn.
  4. At the completion of your burn, call the meteorologist to note the accomplishment achieved and indicate whether any future service will be required.

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

 

  

Additional 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:
http://deq.mt.gov/AirQuality/OpenBurn/OpenBurningPinkSheetFlyer.pdf

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

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.mcpx

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

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

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

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