News & Features

Commission Sets 2019 Fire Season

Permits will be required for burning in May and June after open burning in March and April

The Flathead County Commission voted unanimously to approve the 2019 fire season plan, an annual document that outlines when permits are required for burning.

In the document, the commission officially declares the 2019 fire season to run from May 1 to Sept. 30. This means everywhere within Flathead County — except the three incorporated cities — requires a permit for any type of burning in May and June, and no burning will be allowed in July, August, and September.
During the spring open burning season, no permits are required from March 1 to April 30.

Burning includes forest fires, slash-burning piles, land-clearing fires, or debris-burning fires. Anyone seeking to ignite any such fire in May or June must first obtain official written permission from the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. Burn permits are free.

Burn permits are valid for the following areas: all Flathead County rural fire districts, Lake County rural fire departments, all Flathead National Forest ranger districts and Glacier National Park, and DNRC lands.
Burning is prohibited within the city limits of Kalispell, Columbia Falls, and Whitefish.

After the moratorium on burning through the heart of summer, open burning season begins again in October and lasts through November. It is not allowed from December through February due to concerns about air quality.

For more information on burning regulations, visit