2022 Columbia Falls Fire Department

Columbia Falls Fire Department

The City has a dedicated combination fire department, led by Fire Chief Karl Weeks and Assistant Fire Chief Ron Ross. As a result, the City has earned a Class 5 Fire Rating.

Fire Pits Within City Limits

Recreational fires using clean, dry campfire wood are allowed for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth or similar purposes, measuring thirty-six inches or less in diameter and no more than two feet in height that are surrounded by a nonflammable area and located at least 25 feet (15 feet if fire is in an approved container) from the nearest structure or combustible material. A suitable source of extinguishing the fire must be readily available and the fire must be constantly attended until the fire is extinguished. It is unlawful to burn construction debris, papers, paper goods, rubbish, garbage, organic debris such as lawn clippings, leaves and branches anywhere in city. Notwithstanding the foregoing, recreational fire may not be ignited if special restrictions prohibiting recreational fires have been established by an authority having jurisdiction.

Burning permits are now required year round in Flathead County

Flathead County has adopted a new burn permit system that is currently used by 29 other counties in Montana and has combined the efforts of fire and air quality personnel, and will now allow winter burning opportunities.  You will only need to obtain 1 permit and can add as many burn locations as necessary.    Each day that you intend to burn you will need to activate your permit online or by phone following the instructions on the permit.    You will not be able to activate your permit if air quality or fire danger conditions are not favorable.


A few tips before you light a fire:

►Go to the burn permit website and activate your permit.  (required to activate every day)
►Only vegetation may be burned, no man-made materials of any kind.
►Check the weather forecast and do not burn when gusty or high winds are predicted.
►Fires should be attended until completely out.
►Have enough water, tools, and help on site to extinguish your fire if necessary.