DEQ Press Releases

Driscoll, Paul

Montana winter open burning season begins

HELENA – The Montana fall open burning transitioned to winter burning season on Dec. 1.  Burning is allowed in the Western Montana Burn Zone by submitting a Winter Time Open Burning Request form and receiving approval from DEQ.


The Western Montana Burn Zone includes the following counties: Lincoln, Flathead, Sanders, Lake, Mineral, Missoula, Powell, Lewis & Clark, Ravalli, Granite, Deer Lodge, Silver Bow, Jefferson, Broadwater, Beaverhead, Madison, Gallatin and south of Interstate-90 in Park County.


To conduct open burning in the Eastern Montana Open Burning Zone during the winter months, DEQ must be notified by telephone prior to ignition at 406-444-3490.


Residents of Yellowstone, Flathead, Missoula, Lincoln and Cascade counties and all Indian reservations should contact their local air quality agency to understand any open burning rules that may apply.


Open burning is defined as outdoor burning of materials such as yard or field waste. It does not include small recreational fires, flares or construction site heaters.


Smoke from open burning can have serious health effects if released to the atmosphere during winter inversions that trap air in Montana’s western valleys. DEQ reviews atmospheric conditions daily during the fall and winter to determine where it’s safe to burn and where burning may cause health impacts.


For more information, visit the Burn Closures website at: The 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.


Before starting fires any time of year, please contact the local authorities to provide notification of the burn and obtain any necessary permits.

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