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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 25 - 27, 2014

Dispersion and Air Quality Forecast

Saturday (10/25): Dispersion is expected to be good on Saturday due to unstable southwesterly winds. Air quality is expected to be good at most locations. Cold overnight temperatures and moderate inversions may lead to elevated wood stove smoke impacts in some mountain valleys.

Sunday (10/26): Dispersion is expected to be good Sunday due to unsettled weather moving through the area. Air quality is expected to be good in all locations. The approaching low pressure trough on Sunday morning should mitigate wood stove smoke impacts in most mountain valleys.

Monday (10/27): Dispersion is expected to be good Monday due to unsettled weather moving through the area. Air quality is expected to be good in most locations. Cold overnight temperatures may lead to elevated wood stove smoke impacts, but unsettled weather should help clear any built up smoke quickly.

Meteorology

Saturday (10/25): The front moving through on Friday will exit the region to the north by Saturday morning. A ridge of high pressure will briefly build into the area, leading to dry and warm conditions for many locations. Overnight inversions should break by mid-morning as southwest flow destabilizes the atmosphere. Surface winds will be from the south southwest and transport winds will be shifting from the west to the southwest throughout the day.

Sunday (10/26): A low pressure trough will move across western Montana on Sunday, bringing scattered precipitation and cooler temperatures. Surface winds will be from the west and transport winds will be from the southwest, shifting to the west as the trough passes. Overnight inversions will likely be weak due to increased winds as the system approaches.

Monday (10/27): The low pressure trough axis will be moving across eastern Montana by Monday morning. Scattered precipitation is expected in both western and eastern Montana. Surface winds will be from the west in areas behind the trough and from the northwest as the trough passes over. The precipitation will end from west to east by Tuesday morning.

Open Burning Restrictions

Saturday (10/25): There are no open burning restrictions on 10/25/14.

Sunday (10/26): There are no open burning restrictions on 10/26/14.

Monday (10/27): There are no open burning restrictions on 10/27/14. NOTE: Please check Sunday evening for any updates to Monday burn restrictions.

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