Wednesday, May 22, 2024

New burn permit system for Flathead County

by Daily Inter Lake
| April 28, 2023 12:00 AM

Beginning in May, Flathead County will use the same fully supported burn permit and notification service used in 29 other counties across the state.

Burn permits are required when lighting a fire to consume natural vegetation.

Under the new system, burners will obtain permits valid for one calendar year, Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, although burning will still be prohibited during July, August and September due to fire season.

In addition, the updated system will now allow for burning during the winter months when conditions are favorable.

According to county officials, the service allows close coordination among Flathead City-County Health Department, fire chiefs and interagency fire managers and the ability to close burning when ventilation is poor or fire danger is elevated.

Officials note that outdoor burning remains the top cause of wildfires and wildland fire response in Flathead County.

To access the burn permit system, visit the Flathead City-County Health Department and the Fire Safe Flathead websites.

To keep this service at no cost to the public, burners will obtain one permit to be renewed annually and the permit will need to be activated each day they plan to burn. Permit holders will not be able to activate their burn permits if ventilation or fire conditions are not favorable.

Permits are not required for recreational campfires measuring less than 48-inches in height and diameter.

Local assistance in obtaining a burn permit will be available at multiple locations:

Department of Natural Resources and Conservation: 655 Timberwolf Parkway, Kalispell, 406-751-2240

DNRC Stillwater Unit: 7425 U.S. 93 N, Olney, MT 59927, 406-881-2371

Flathead City-County Health Department: 40 11th Street West, Suite 210, 406-751-8130

Bigfork Fire Department: 10 Grand Drive, Bigfork MT 59911, 406-837-4590

For more information on safe burning, go to