Protecting People, Homes & Natural Resources | Southwest Montana
Missoula County MT
MISSOULA COUNTY BURNING RULES:
Missoula County, Montana - from Lolo in the south to Seeley Lake in the north - has two Outdoor Burning Seasons. Each requires a $5 Burn Permit and has limitations on what, when and where residents can burn.
Missoula has an Air Stagnation Zone that allows NO OUTDOOR BURNING (recreational fires) without a permit. Strictly enforced. Only cooking fires are allowed, under certain conditions**. More info.
Three types of Burn Permits are available March 1st each year for general yard waste disposal as well as agriculture and forested landowner needs. Note: If possible, conduct your burn in March and April. Permits are typically suspended by July, due to fire danger.
Burns on public lands, such as those managed by the US Forest Service in Montana and Idaho, are managed by the Airshed Management System.
BURN PERMITS: 5 STEPS NEEDED
1. Burning SEASON? (YES-NO)
2. Got Your PERMIT? (YES-NO)
3. ACTIVATE your Permit ? (YES-NO)
4. Firewise SAFETY TIPS? (YES-NO)
5. FINISHED by 4 pm ? (YES-NO)
Steps fully explained...
MCFPA's ONLINE BURN PERMIT system helps firefighters (most are volunteers in rural areas) permit, report and track wanted/ temporary outdoor burns. Thanks for being a partner in this successful program.
Come back soon for updates.
FIVE STEPS to Firewise Outdoor Burns
KNOW YOUR BURN SEASONS & WHAT YOU CAN BURN
If you want to burn yard waste (leaves, grass, branches) or manage vegetation (agriculture or forested property), and you live outside the Missoula Air Stagnation Zone, you can burn outdoors in the Spring with a General Outdoor Burn Permit available March 1 - August 31*. During the Fall,* October 1 to November 30, ONLY those with Essential Agricultural or Prescribed Wildland burning needs can obtain a Burn Permit. *Limits apply.
GETTING A BURNING PERMIT
Every fire ignited in Missoula County -- including those on public lands -- require a Burn Permit, with the exception of small cooking or campfires when fire danger allows. To obtain a Missoula County Burn Permit, visit the ONLINE PERMIT WEBSITE and fill out the application, including choice of payment system (credit card or electronic check. See FAQs for if you must pay in Cash).
Note: Missoula city residents must get a permit in person at the City-County Health Department. You can also get a Permit in-person from your rural fire department, but remember that many offices are staffed by volunteers who work during the day and only respond to emergency calls, so it's best to check before you go.
OUTDOOR BURNING RULES
for Missoula County Home & Land Owners:
WHAT you CAN burn:
* ONLY natural vegetation and untreated dimensional lumber generated on your own land / property.
WHAT you CANNOT burn:
* Wastes generated by a business.
* Material from other locations.
* Piles of leaves or grass clippings cannot be burned IF YOU LIVE within the Air Stagnation Zone, which includes the City of Missoula and an area roughly 4 1/2 miles around it. Leaves and clippings simply produce too much smoke.
Examples of prohibited materials include household garbage, dead animals, animal droppings, treated wood, chemicals or synthetics, such as rubber and plastics.
*** Burning prohibited materials can produce harmful smoke or even cause explosions and you can be charged with illegal burning.***
ACTIVATING THE BURN PERMIT
To activate your Burm Permit, CALL 1-888-583-6497 (the number listed on the Permit) or go Online to the Permit Website after 9 am ON THE DAY of your burn. Follow directions from there. Note: SPRING burning is affected by air quality and/or fire danger. In the FALL, Go/No Go Burn Decisions are based on airshed and elevational conditions.
ONLINE PERMIT: https://app.mt.gov/burnpermit/
Knowing WHAT and HOW TO BURN is as important as getting a Burn Permit and Activating it Online or by phone the day that you burn. Remember: If your fire gets out of control,YOU WILL BE LIABLE FOR FIRE SUPPRESSION COSTS as well as any damage YOUR FIRE causes to the surrounding community.
FIRE OUT BY 4 PM
All General Outdoor Burns must begin after 9 am and be fully extinguished by 4 pm, unless your local fire department has granted an extension. Air inversions tend to break up by 9 am. Waiting until after 9 am to ignite your burn lets the smoke disperse better. Afternoon winds are also typical in the spring. So for safety reasons, your fire MUST BE completely dead out -- NO SMOKE AT ALL -- by 4 pm. Additionally, smoke dispersion is poor after sunset, so a fire left smoldering overnight can cause smoke to build up, bothering neighbors and adding to Valley pollution.
OUTDOOR BURNING RULES - Missoula County Fire Protection Association Montana