Land Owners....Learn Before You Burn

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Prudential MT Ranch & Recreational Group


In Montana, a common Spring pasture management practice is Controlled Burning. A land owner uses fire to burn off the old crop residue or dormant grasses to allow for the new growth to green up sooner. It helps to promote better livestock grazing, manages hazardous dry fuels & weeds and provides a cleaner, green appearance to properties. It could be the equivilant of having a home deep cleaned before showing it.

Recently, I got a "Safe Burning Award" from the County when we unintentionally started an old shed on fire during a controlled burn. I have earned local fame and have heard many "If it Makes You Feel Any Better...." stories from neighbors. These include: burning off car tires in town, a flaming haystack that started after a winter of smoldering unseen, burning grass one day and a building going up in flames 2 days later after it snowed... and the best, was the local County Sheriff who blew up his propane tank burner out in the field while burning his pasture.

Each Montana County requires that the land owner purchase an Open Burn Permit. You can purchase your permit at any local fire district station. Learn before you burn and avoid unintentional fires and permit violation fines. There are few of the steps to follow in a controlled burn. Common sense is the rule.

  • Must have current Burn Permit
  • Call the local Fire Department to tell them you are burning. (any open burning requires a phone call)
  • Have proper safety and fire suppression equipment on hand
  • Man the fire at all times
  • No burning of hazardous materials
  • No burning after dark

    Follow the rules, be safe, then burn, baby, burn.

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Comments (2)

Ross Quintana
Real E Smarter - Spokane, WA
Real E Smarter Real Estate Coach - 509-362-1966
Yeah this is not something you want people doing who don't know what they are doing. Fire has a way of doing what it wants.
May 01, 2008 07:30 AM
Lisa Lambert
The Law Offices of Elisabeth A. Lambert - Fresno, CA
Esq. 1031 Exchange Expert
Great information Leah! I've heard similar stories when I lived in Montana.
May 01, 2008 05:47 PM