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.
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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