Outdoor Burning in Missoula County

Outdoor burning is OPEN in Missoula County with a valid permit.





 Impact Zone M


 Impact Zone SL


 Potomac Valley


 Airshed 2


 Airshed 3A (Outside of Impact Zone M and the Potomac Valley)


 Airshed 3B (Outside of Impact Zone SL)


Outdoor Burning Permits

All burns require a permit, which you may obtain online at the County Burn Permit System website or at your local fire protection agency (check here to see if your local agency will be issuing permits). All permits cost $7. You can pay online with a credit card or electronic check. If you prefer to purchase your permit in person, you may do so at the locations listed here.

Also, don't forget that you can RENEW your permit! All of your information from last year is saved and ready to go. Check your mail each spring for a postcard with your permit number, or call the Missoula City-County Health Department (258-4755) or your local fire protection agency, and we can help you renew your permit!

Before lighting your fire you must activate your permit either online (Burnpermit.mt.gov) or by calling the automated activation phone line at 1-888-583-6497 after 9:00 a.m. on the day you wish to burn. If burning is restricted you will not be able to activate your permit. When dispersion is poor, burn restrictions are required to protect public health.

For more information about the online outdoor burn permit system and burning in Missoula County, you can visit the Missoula Fire Protection Association webpage here or try the demo version for yourself!

Have questions? This FAQ list may have your answers!

Airsheds and Impact Zones

To protect public health and ensure good air quality, outdoor burning may be restricted based on your burn's elevation or location.  There are three airsheds in Missoula County (2, 3A and 3B) and twAirshedso Impact Zones (M and SL).  The Potomac Valley is another area of concern based on population and woodsmoke density and the frequent stagnant air.  Despite being in the same airshed, the air moves very differently in the Ninemile vs. the Potomac Valley!

This map illustrates the boundaries of the airsheds and Impact Zones in Missoula County.  If you aren't sure which zone or airshed applies to your burn location, check your permit!  The Burn Locations box on your permit lists the zones and elevation for each burn location. 



Outdoor Burning Seasons

General: March 1 - August 31.

General burning is the cleanup and burning of untreated vegetative waste that does not include trade waste. All materials must be generated onsite. Most outdoor burning in Missoula County is conducted during the general burn season. NOTE: In the Air Stagnation Zone, piles of grass or deciduous leaves may not be disposed of through outdoor burning.

Essential Agriculture: March 1st - October 31st.

Essential agriculture burning is conducted on a farm or ranch to eliminate excess vegetative matter from an irrigation ditch or cultivated fields, or to improve range conditions or wildlife habitat. Agricultural burning should only be conducted when no reasonable alternative methods of disposal are available.

Prescribed Wildland: March 1st - November 30th

Prescribed wildland burning is planned and conducted on forested land or relatively undeveloped range land to improve wildlife habitat or range conditions, promote forest regeneration, reduce fire hazards resulting from forestry practices, control forests pests and diseases, and/or promote any other accepted silvicultural practices.