About the Department

Stillwater County’s Fire Warden works to provide fire prevention and helps to assist in the fire risks in the County. This position is appointed by the Board of Commissioners. The Fire Warden acts as the liaison between the County Commissioners and the Fire Council, bringing matters to each body for the other.

Burn permits are good from January 1 to December 31 each year: To renew your permit, you can either renew online by clicking HERE, call 322-8060, or come to the second floor of the courthouse to either the Fire Wardens Office or Clerk & Recorders office.

Prevent Equipment Caused Wildfires

Haying and crop harvesting are underway across Montana. Your local firefighters are asking you to be cautious while operating equipment this summer.

To avoid starting a wildfire:

  • Inspect and maintain equipment. Ensure equipment has a sound, functional exhaust system or spark arrester;
  • Avoid parking or driving in tall grass; if you have to park in dry grass patrol the area to make sure a fire hasn’t started;
  • Make certain you have the necessary tools and water to suppress a fire: including a fire extinguisher, shovel, and water tank with pump and hose. Also, have a tractor with tillage equipment attached for emergency line construction.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question:  When do I need a permit?

Answer:  A burn permit is needed year-round if you intend on conducting a slash-burning fire, land-clearing fire, debris-burning fire or any other type of open fire greater than 48 inches in diameter.

Question:  Fire Warden, does my fire have to be out by dark?

Answer:  Daylight Hours Only. No fire shall be set between sunset and sunrise. If it appears that a fire will continue to burn after sunset, the permit holder or designee must notify the Stillwater County Open Burning Number.

Questions:  Can I burn my garbage?

Answer:  Natural vegetation is the ONLY thing that your burn permit allows you to burn.  You are not allowed to burn prohibited materials as outlined in the Montana Department of Environmental Quality’s air quality regulations found at ARM 17.8.604. This includes, but is not limited to buildings, asphalt shingles, campers, garbage, railroad ties, plastic products, paper products, cardboard, manure, dead animals, etc.

Questions:  Are there times when Stillwater County can close the burn permit system?

Answer:  Yes, the Stillwater County Fire Warden may close the burn permit system to effectuate a burn ban at any time that the National Weather Service (NOAA) issues a critical Fire Hazard Warning, Red Flag Warning, High Winds, Hazardous weather outlook, Fire Danger Statement, or Fire Weather Watch in accordance with State 1 or 2 Fire Restrictions.

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You remain fully responsible and liable for any fire set and for ALL consequences of both a civil and criminal nature.


400 East 3rd Avenue North
PO Box 970
Columbus, MT 59019

Located on the second floor of the Courthouse in the southwest corner.
(406) 322-8007