Fire Services

Pondera County Permit Issuance

  1. County Permits are required for the current year ending December 31.
  2. Only one burning permit is required during year except for conditions listed below in permit cancellations and restrictions.
  3. Permits may be obtained from the County Commissioners, Clerk and Recorder, or from Deputy Fire Wardens located throughout the County. Permit requests by fax can be accomplished by calling the Commissioners at (406) 271-4010 or Clerk & Recorder at (406) 271-4001, to request a form to be faxed to applicant. The completed and signed permit form must be faxed back to the courthouse at (406) 271-4070 to be accepted.
  4. Permit holders are required to call the Sheriff’s office (406) 271-4060 one hour prior to ignition.
  5. Burning permits issued in Pondera County are valid for Pondera County only. Adjacent counties will have their own policies and permits.

State of Montana Requirements

  1. FALL BURNING: September, October and November. Burner is required to adhere to DEQ restrictions. Call DEQ hotline prior to ignition. (800) 225-6779
  2. WINTER BURNING: December, January, February. Burner is required to notify DEQ prior to ignition. Call DEQ hotline to verify ventilation conditions. (800) 225-6779
  3. SPRING/SUMMER: March, April, May, June, July and August. Burner may conduct open burning without contacting DEQ.
  4. During the period March 1 through August 31, open burning may be conducted only when fire danger is low and weather forecasts indicate good dispersion and ventilation conditions. Burners are responsible for the effects of their smoke emissions and may burn only during favorable conditions, using burn techniques and methods to minimize air quality impacts.

Burning Requirements

  1. Everyone is responsible for their own actions.
  2. Limited or acceptable burn materials are crop residue for seeding, and for open pit burning untreated building materials and tree branches.
  3. Fire guards and fire suppression equipment shall be provided on scene to contain the fire under expected fire behavior and weather conditions, i.e., water (Sprayer or tanker), tractor or disk.
  4. An adult shall attend the fire from start to completion of burning.
  5. All burning of CRP will comply with USDA burning requirements including, but not limited to, using and following a burn plan approved by USDA Natural Resource and Conservation Service.

Permit Cancellation

  1. The County Commissioners or the County Rural Fire Coordinator may cancel burning permits under the following conditions:
    1. Fire Weather Watch/Warning or Red Flag Warning in Fire Weather Zones 112 and/or 114.
    2. New burn permit requests, in a fire response area, when the local fire department’s resources are fully committed to an emergency or mutual aid has been requested.
    3. Any period of high fire danger.

If you have questions, call LeAnn Hermance, DES Coordinator, at (406) 271-4040

To review State of Montana burning and permit requirements, visit their website at http://www.deq.state.mt.us/pcd/awm/burning/htm.

Structure Protection

The entire county has an identified structure protection agency in the form of city and rural volunteer fire departments.

Wildland Fire Protection

The rural departments provide wildland protection on private and state lands. The Forest Service provides protection on its land. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Blackfeet Tribe provide protection on all tribal lands.

Pondera County Rural Fire Coordinator
LeAnn Hermance
(406) 271-4040

Rural Fire District Board

  • Janice Keith, Secretary
  • William Breding
  • Roger Keith
  • Bert Rigby
  • Keith Hruska
  • Jody Habel

Brady Volunteer Fire Department

  • Chief: Roy VandenBos
  • Business Meeting: 2nd Tuesday of each month

Conrad Volunteer Fire Department

  • Chief: Kevin Moritz
  • Business Meeting: 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month
  • Training: Every Tuesday

Dupuyer Volunteer Fire Department

  • Chief: John Shephard
  • Business Meeting: 3rd Thursday of each month

Valier Volunteer Fire Department

  • Chief: Rod Christiaens
  • Business Meeting: Last Tuesday of each month

Heart Butte Volunteer Fire Department

  • Chief: Richard Rutherford

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