The Montana state forest fire season is from May 1st through September 30th each year. During this period, permits are required for open debris burning. ("Wildfire Season" Definition: 76-13-102 MCA, State Statute 76-13-121 MCA).
To satisfy this requirement, burn permits are issued from May 1 to June 30. The Rural Fire Districts in Flathead County and some in Lake County (Rollins, Bigfork, and Ferndale), declare a moratorium on burning through the height of Montana's traditional fire season, from July 1 through September 30. This seasonal closure lasts through the fire season and may be extended as fire conditions dictate.
WHAT CAN YOU BURN?
Only two types of debris burning are allowed in Montana:
1) Agricultural debris - This debris is created from farming, ranching, and gardening.
If possible, plow or dig a fire control line around the area to be burned and divide large fields into smaller plots to be burned one at a time. If you do not want to burn, your field or garden may benefit if you simply plow the dried plants and leaves under.
2) Wildland debris - This debris is created in two ways.
A. Natural accumulations of needles, grasses, leaves, shrubs, limbs, and trees.
B. Unnatural accumulations of fuel resulting from management activities such as land clearing or timber harvesting.
WHAT CAN'T YOU BURN?
Materials that are prohibited to burn include business waste, treated or painted wood or lumber, tar paper, tires, insulated wire, any salvage, oil products, styrofoam or plastics, food wastes, animal parts or waste, hazardous waste, noxious waste, and any man-made material. Trade Waste permits may be issued for wood or wood by-product trade wastes generated by any business, industry trade, or demolition project. Trade waste permits may be obtained by calling your local city-county health department. For more information, contact the appropriate agency:
In Flathead County call the Flathead City-County Health Department at 751-8130 or Click Here and scroll down.
In Lake County call the CSKT Division of Fire at 676-2550 or the MT DEQ at 444-4267
PLEASE BE CAREFUL WITH FIRE!
Escaped debris fires can threaten valuable resources, as well as lives and property. Follow the information provided under "Tips for burning" to reduce the risk of an escaped debris fire.
Remember, you are responsible for any and all suppression costs if your fire escapes your control! (State Statute 50-63-103 MCA)