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Fire chief: Get a permit before burning

Spring cleaning can frequently lead to piles of plants best disposed of by burning, but burning requires a permit.

Havre Fire Chief Dave Sheppard is reminding people of the requirement and the ease of acquiring a burn permit before starting any fires.

"We've had sort of a rash of open burning lately, which we always get this time of year, " Sheppard said. "The problem is that it is required by the county to get a burn permit. "

Sheppard said that doesn't always happen. Then a neighbor or someone passing by calls the fire department to report the fire.

If the fire department has not granted a permit, they don't know that it is controlled, and they have to respond.

"We have to use manpower. There is a cost to that for us, " Sheppard said. "That takes people out of service to handle ambulances or actual fires that we should be responding to. "

People planning to burn need to call their local fire department. In Fire District 1, which reaches just outside Havre city limits, that's the Havre Fire Department at 265-6511.

"You can do it over the phone. It takes a minute, " Sheppard said. "It's a pretty simple process. "

The alternative is facing a visit from a Hill County Sheriff's Office deputy and a possible citation for burning without a permit.


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