The County Burn Permit Service provides citizens with instant access to permits for the purpose of burning natural vegetation.
- Permits may be purchased at www.burnpermits.mt.gov or at local outlets*
- Pay with a debit/credit card or electronic check (Permits are free for the remainder of 2015)
- Add multiple burn locations to a single permit
- Print and/or email your permit
- Permits may activated online or by calling 1-844-286-7968, 24/7.
- An interactive map is available to view all current burn activity within the County
Why is the County implementing a burn permit system?
- This service will track the locations of all approved burns in the County which will help us more easily determine whether a smoke plume or fire is an emergency. WE hope to reduce the number of times fire departments are dispatch to false alarms.
- The burn permit services is more flexible than issuing State 1 Fire Restrictions for the entire County for an extended period. We hope to use the service in substitution of Stage 1 Fire Restrictions, which will alow people to burn when conditions are right to do so.
- The County Fire Warden may shut down the service and not allow any permits to be activated if weather conditions are not conducive to burning – reducing the risk of controlled burns escaping.
- The service will reduce the number of non-emergent calls into the 911 dispatch center.
When is a permit needed?
- A burn permit is needed year-round if you intend on conducting a slash-burning fire, land-clearing fire, debris-burning fire or any other type of open fire greater than 48 inches in diameter.
How much do permits cost?
- Starting January 1, 2016 a burn permit costs $5.00 and is good for the calendar year. Permits must be renewed annually. You may burn multiple times and at multiple locations under the same permit. Permits are free for the remainder of 2015.
What responsibilities am I assuming when I light my burn?
- Fires shall not be ignited when weather, wind, and other conditions make it hazardous to do so.
- You must have enough water, hand tools/equipment, and people to keep your fire under control.
- If you do not activate your permit before burning, the local fire department may be dispatched to your fire, even though it is under control, and you may be cited.
- Burn permit must be accessible at the burn location
- Someone must remain with the fire until it is completely out (no smoke or hot embers present)
What can I legally burn?
- Natural vegetation is the ONLY thing that your burn permit allows you to burn.
- You are not allowed to burn prohibited materials as outline in the Montana DEQ air quality regulations. This includes, but is not limited to garbage, buildings, asphalt shingles, campers, railroad ties, plastic products, paper products, cardboard, manure and dead animals.
Can I still burn my leaves in my burning barrel and have a recreational fire?
- Yes, fires measuring less than 48 inches in diameter that are surrounded by nonflammable area or structure (i.e., fire ring), for which suitable source of extinguishing the fire is available, are allowed without a burn permit. This assumes no county-wide fire restrictions are in place.
Do I need a permit if I burn within my City or Town?
- Yes, the incorporated communities of Bearcreek, Joliet, Fromberg, and Red Lodge have adopted the County Burn Permit Service. Residents in those communities can obtain and activate their permit at www.burnpermits.mt.gov. Residents in the Town of Bridger will need to contact the Fire Chief to obtain a permit within that jurisdiction.
You can also activate an existing permit by calling
*Permits may also be purchased from the Sheriff’s Office or County Administration Building in Red Lodge, the MSU Extension Office in Joliet, or the Bridger Public Library.