HELENA — Fall burning season starts Sept. 1. While burning is allowed year-round, September through February there are restrictions and requirements to help protect air quality throughout the state of Montana. As always, burning should comply with air quality rules and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) encourages good judgement to prevent wildfires. 

Follow these steps before striking the match on your burn pile:

  • Obtain a permit from your local fire control authority. 
  • DEQ issues time, elevation and county restrictions for open burning. Check for restrictions at Open Burning | Montana DEQ (mt.gov) or by calling the ventilation hotline at 800-225-6779.
  • Check with your local air quality program for restrictions in Missoula, Cascade, Yellowstone, Lincoln and Flathead counties. 
  • On the day of your burn, activate your county permit.
  • Be aware of local conditions and burn smart. 
  • Check back Dec. 1 for winter burn season requirements. During winter burn season, DEQ air quality approval is required. 

To obtain a permit, go to: deq.mt.gov/air/programs/burning If your county is not listed on the website, call your local fire control authority to obtain one. 

Only clean, untreated wood and plant material can be burned. Do not burn: food wastes, plastics, wood that has been coated, painted, stained, or treated, dead animals or animal droppings, rubber materials, chemicals, asphalt shingles, tar paper, hazardous wastes or structures containing these materials. A full list of prohibited materials can be found on DEQ’s open burning website: https://deq.mt.gov/air/Programs/burning#accordion1-collapse5

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