Open Burning Information
Fall Burning Season: September 1 – November 30
Current Burning Restrictions:
The following county restrictions are in place:
October 31, 2014
Dispersion and Air Quality Forecast
Dispersion is expected to be moderate on Friday, October 31st due to a ridge of high pressure over the area. Southwesterly flow may create pockets of good dispersion at higher elevations. Air quality is expected to be good in most locations. Some mountain valleys may experience wood stove smoke impacts. These impacts should improve by mid-morning in southwest Montana while impacts may linger in areas of northwest Montana.
The ridge of high pressure will continue to impact the area on Friday, October 31st. Winds will be light and variable in northwest Montana, from the south in southwest Montana and from the southeast in eastern Montana. Upper level winds will be from the southwest as the ridge moves eastward over Montana. These winds will help create unstable air and better mixing conditions than Thursday, especially in southwest Montana and parts east of the Divide. The atmosphere will continue to destabilize throughout the weekend, with a low pressure system expected to impact the area by Saturday evening.
Open Burning Restrictions
Open burning is restricted by elevation in the following counties:
Restricted Below 3400 ft. – Lincoln County
Restricted Below 4500 ft. – Granite, Lake, Lewis and Clark, Mineral, Powell, Ravalli, and Sanders Counties
Open burning is restricted to the hours or 10am – 4pm in the following counties: Beaverhead, Deer Lodge, Jefferson, Madison, and Silver Bow Counties.
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:
Eastern Montana Zone:
I’m in the eastern zone. What do I do?
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Notify local fire control authorities prior to igniting your burn.
- 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.
Near real time air quality monitoring information:
Minor Open Burning Requirements Flyer:
State Air Quality Open Burning Permits Webpage:
Open Burning Rules:
Visibility Ranges and Health Effects Categories:
Winter Air Quality Updates:
Recommendations for safely and effectively using wood burning devices: