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Open burn regulations in Gallatin County

By Jordan Moore, KTVM Reporter, jmoore@ktvm.com
Published On: Jul 07 2013 05:50:21 PM MDT
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

In Gallatin county open burning is controlled by a permit system.

We wanted to get the facts right on these permits and why they are so important.

We spoke with Battalion Chief Keith Johnson who tells us even though it sounds simple, there are many reasons for burn permits.

"One of the reasons is to be able to shut it down when fire season is really active. A lot of area departments have all their resources deployed out. Adding another fire could be pretty detrimental," said Johnson.

Johnson says if you do have a permit, you still have to be careful.

"Be sensible, if you can do it early in the morning when the moisture is a little bit higher," said Johnson.

He also said if you do have a burn permit it is important to have a hose line nearby, just in case things get out of hand.

"They start the fire and it does not look like much. Then they go in eat lunch or something like that and it ends up getting big. That is when we get called," said Johnson.

Johnson says even with a permit and caution, there are times when a burn ban can go into effect across the county.

"Typically in August you do not get the moisture and then it dries out. You will probably see some burn bans if that is the case," said Johnson.

If you decide not to follow the rules during a burn ban, there will be consequences.

"If you light something and it gets out of control, which is the likely situation when a burn ban is on, you probably could look at personal liabilities on those," said Johnson.