On Tuesday, the Gallatin County Commission announced an emergency ordinance banning burning and other activities that increase the risk of wildfire in Gallatin County.

The burn ban is in response to an abundance of dry fuel levels and a lack of firefighting resources regionally.

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Effective immediately, the following acts are prohibited in Gallatin County:

  • Open burning
  • Recreational fires, excluding petroleum-fueled devices that can be turned immediately on and off with no element that continues to burn
  • Use of any firework, explosive or incendiary device
  • Smoking outside an enclosed vehicle or building, unless the smoking occurs in an area at least three feet in diameter that is clear of all flammable material
  • Operating motorized vehicles off a road or trail, except for an agricultural or utility activity (e.g. maintaining livestock, maintaining water facilities, or utility maintenance work)

People are also recommended to refrain from shooting firearms outside of developed shooting ranges clear of natural vegetation, although those activities are not prohibited by the ordinance.

Since our firefighters are out there doing their best to protect our communities and homes and putting their lives at risk, the rest of us can do our part to prevent starting any new fires. We’re on track for really rough conditions and relief is not exactly in sight.

Gallatin County Commissioner Zach Brown said.

The emergency ordinance will remain in effect for 90 days until the commission rescinds it. The commission says that many factors contributed to the emergency ordinance. Vegetation in the area is at historically high levels and vulnerable to rapid fire growth.

There's also a shortage of firefighters in the region due to multiple wildfires already burning. With resources stretched so thin, it impacts the ability of crews to respond to a large wildfire if one were to start in our area.

To read the full ordinance, click here.

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