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Open burning season ends

 


Open burning season in Sanders and Mineral counties officially ends April 30, and burn permits will now be required until fire season begins.

Starting May 1, and continuing until conditions are no longer favorable for safe burning, permits are required to burn yard debris or logging slash.

Burning permits can be secured at no cost. If it is unfeasible for residents to physically pick up their permits, they can be issued by phone and/or on-site visits from the responsible agencies.

In the western portion of Sanders County, including the communities of Trout Creek, Noxon and Heron, the Cabinet Ranger District in Trout Creek is charged with administering the burn permit program. Visit the Cabinet Ranger District Office at 2693 Highway 200, or call 827-3533.

Tribal members or non-members planning to burn on tribal lands need to secure their permits from the Ronan Fire Office of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes at 44592 Old Highway 93, or by calling 676-2550.

The Plains Unit of the Montana DNRC is headquartered at 14 Airport Road. Call 826-3851 for burn permit information.

To acquire a permit on the Plains/Thompson Falls Forest Service protection area, visit the district office at 408 Clayton Avenue in Plains or call 826-3821.

Regardless of which protection area the permit is issued to, the responsibility for safe burning remains with the landowner. Any costs associated with the containment of an escaped fire can be charged back against the landowner.

Although having a valid permit is the first step to safe, legal burning by homeowners, the possession of a permit does not free individuals from liability if an escaped burn were to occur.

After the permit is secured but before burning is initiated, people need to call the Airshed Hotline at 1-800-225-6779 (or visit http://www.smokemu.org) to see if air quality restrictions are in effect, and to check the weather forecast, either by calling the National Weather Service information hotline at 329-4840 or 721-3939 (for recorded weather), or by visiting the organization’s website at http://www.wrh.noaa.gov.

There are two types of burning allowed under the terms of the permits being issued in Sanders County, either agricultural debris from farming, ranching and gardening, or natural debris created from activities such as land clearing or timber harvest, or natural accumulations of needles, grasses, leaves, shrubs, limbs and trees.

Materials that should not be burned in debris piles include treated, coated or painted wood or lumber, tar paper, tires or any type of rubber, oil or petroleum products, asphalt shingles, insulated wire, oil products, Styrofoam, plastics, food wastes, animal parts or waste, hazardous waste, including asbestos or asbestos containing materials, business waste, and or any other manmade materials.

Before burning, ensure that water is available to and around the area where the burn will occur, that tools and equipment are on hand and ready to use; and that additional equipment and help is available if needed.

When burning is complete, the permitted fire must be attended until no smoke or live embers remain.

 

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