Open Burning Begins Sunday


GCEM Media Release
Media Release:  200229-01
Contact:  Gallatin County Emergency Management (406) 548-0111

Open Burning Begins Sunday

Bozeman, MT – The 2020 open burning season in Gallatin County begins Sunday, March 1, 2020.  Individuals wishing to conduct open burning are currently able to purchase burn permits and activate them beginning Sunday.  All burning beyond recreational fires smaller than 48″ in diameter are required to have a burn permit that is activated each day burning is conducted.

Gallatin County migrated to a new burn permit system this year to make the process more user friendly for the community.  Unfortunately, those who have had burn permits in the past will not be able to simply renew their permit.  Being a new vendor for the burn permits, all individuals will need to create a new account this year, and in following years will only need to renew.

Burn permits are available online at and in person at:

  • Bozeman Fire Department, 34 North Rouse in Bozeman
  • Central Valley Fire District, 215 Wings Way in Belgrade
  • Gallatin County Treasurers Office, 311 West Main in Bozeman
  • Three Forks Library, 607 South Main in Three Forks

General information on conducting open burning is available at:


Open Burning Season Approaching

GCEM Media Release

Release:  200213-01
Contact:  Patrick Lonergan, (406) 548-0111

Open Burning Season Approaching

Bozeman, MT – Open burning in Gallatin County begins March 1st with the launch of a new online burn permit system.   Burn Permits will be available for activation beginning March 1st for those conducting non-recreational fires in accordance with the open burning regulations.  Gallatin County is also launching a new online burn permit system this year for purchase and management of permits.  Gallatin County transitioned vendors to a system that is more user friendly, verifies locations easier and provides agencies with the ability to communicate information better with those conducting open burning.  The new platform is intended to provide a quicker and cleaner experience for our community.

As Patrick Lonergan, Chief of Emergency Management and Fire explains, “The old burn permit system had become dated in its technology and no longer provided a positive experience for our community.  The new platform is modern technology that behaves like users expect and are used to from other platforms.  The only drawback is that previous burn permit holders will not be able to simply renew a permit this year and will have to answer a few additional questions to establish an account in the new system.”

Permits purchased through the Gallatin County Burn Permit System are valid for all local jurisdictions within Gallatin County.  Permits cost $15.00 and are valid for the 2020 open burning season which runs from March 1st to November 30th.  Permits can be utilized by the permit holder at multiple locations, but must be activated each day an open burn is conducted.

The Gallatin County Burn Permit System is located at

Additional information on open burning in Gallatin County is available at:


Winter Isn’t Over

GCEM Media Release

Media Release:  190301-01
Contact:  Patrick Lonergan, (406) 548-0111

Winter Isn’t Over

Bozeman, MT – Winter isn’t over in Gallatin County and the message of the day is, “Have you thought about your backup plan if your weekend plans don’t go as planned?”  Gallatin County has received a good taste of winter this past week, but we have the potential for more snow over the weekend.  Additionally, an Arctic front is moving in from the North bringing winds and air temperatures into the negative 20’s by Monday.

So, as people begin their weekends think about the following:

  • If driving, allow extra time and keep your gas tank filled.  If you can’t get to where you are going, are you prepared to stay put for a while?
  • Recreating outside, dress appropriately and limit your exposure.  Wind chills will be capable of causing cold exposure injuries quickly.  This applies to your pets too.
  • Heading into the back country, use safe travel routes and practices while evaluating snow conditions continuously.  We’ve had a lot of snow recently that has not settled out.
  • Staying home, make sure your house vents and heating units are clear of snow so they can function properly.  If your fire hydrant is inaccessible, dig it out.

Information on Winter Preparedness is available at:



Bridger Mountain Range Avalanche

On Tuesday afternoon, at 2:00, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, Bridger Ski Patrol, Gallatin N.F. Avalanche Center and Central Helicopters responded to an avalanche on the west side of the Bridger Mountain Range. One skier was caught in the avalanche; two skiers in the area observed avalanche start and were able to quickly locate the victim.  Despite quickly locating the male and resuscitation efforts, the male died on scene. The 36 year old Bozeman man’s Identity will be withheld until next of kin can be notified. 


Winter Weather Affecting Gallatin County

GCEM Media Release

Media Release: 190226-01
Contact:  Emergency Management (406) 548-0111

Winter Weather Affecting Gallatin County

Bozeman, MT – Residents around Gallatin County are encouraged to utilize safe winter practices as this winter storm affects Montana.  The community is encouraged to drive safety and allow extra travel time as crews work to safety clear roadways.  It is common during extended cold stretches accompanied with heavy snow accumulation for waterways to become plugged with ice forcing the water onto roadways and into other areas.  Water is currently affecting several roads (primarily Madison Rd.) around Gallatin County and drivers are encouraged to closely watch roadways for roadway hazards.  Additionally, those living near waterways should monitor conditions around their homes for flooding as water spreading underneath snow can be hard to see.  Ice stuck against the Logan Bridge on the Gallatin River is currently causing flooding that is affecting one home in Logan.

As Patrick Lonergan, Chief of Emergency Management & Fire explains, “We are currently experiencing winter in Montana and with that comes increased hazards to be aware of as we go about our day.  Sometimes these hazards are challenging to recognize, so minimize your travel, move slowly, keep your eyes open, and allow extra time.”

Winter preparedness information is available from FEMA at:


Morning Update from Montana Rail Link

Trail Creek Derailment Update

 As of 8:00 am Wednesday morning, MRL crews continue to make progress in cleaning up 39 coal cars involved in a derailment that occurred yesterday at 12:50 PM. We do not currently have an estimated time for re-opening the track, but work to clear the derailment is expected to last another 18 hours. MRL environmental contractors are onsite monitoring Rocky Creek water quality and have taken precautionary measures to reduce stream impacts. The general public is urged to stay away from the derailment site so contractors and crews can continue to work safely. Local residents should expect minor traffic delays. We apologize and regret the inconvenience caused to the public and thank them for their patience.

Ross Lane

Chief Communications Officer

101 International Drive

Missoula, MT 59808

Office: (406) 523-1438

West Yellowstone Snowmobile Accident Fatality

January 14, 2019
10:00 PM

On Monday, January 14, 2019 at 3:27 PM a snowmobile with two riders was traveling southbound on Dunraven Street approaching the intersection with Gibbon Avenue in the Town of West Yellowstone. Gibbon Avenue is a through street and traffic on Dunraven Street is directed to stop by stop signs. The snowmobile failed to stop for the stop sign. At the time, an eastbound sport utility vehicle was approaching the intersection. The sport utility vehicle struck the snowmobile and the riders were knocked off the snowmobile. The impact deflected the snowmobile into a second vehicle that was stopped at the intersection.

One rider was transported by helicopter (Air Methods air medical transport) to the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls and is in critical condition. The other rider was pronounced deceased at the scene. The riders were on vacation from out of state and were operating a snowmobile rented from a local business. The names are not being released pending notification of next of kin.

The occupants of the two vehicles were not injured.

Assisting agencies included the Hebgen Basin Rural Fire Department, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, the National Forest Service (Gallatin), and the National Park Service

The crash is still under investigation by the West Yellowstone Police Department.

Chief of Police Scott Newell

Logan Landfill Waives Fees for Horseshoe Fire Victims

GCEM Media Release

Contact:  Patrick Lonergan, (406) 582-2395
Release 180927-01

Logan Landfill Waives Fees for Horseshoe Fire Victims

On Wednesday, September 26th the Board of Directors for the Gallatin Solid Waste Management District voted to waive tipping fees up to $2000 until January 1, 2019 for each property owner who lost buildings during the Horseshoe Fire.  Property owners who lost buildings will need to provide the Logan Landfill with the property address and owner name for every load of their debris.  Property information will be compared against the damage assessment conducted by the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office to verify where it is coming from.  Residents planning on taking advantage of this offer are encouraged to contract the Logan Landfill at (406) 587-7890 prior to bringing their first load to verify their information matches.

Metal items such as roofs, siding and vehicles should be taken to a metal recycler while natural vegetation is encouraged to be chipped on site.  Debris other than this can be brought to the Logan Landfill for disposal.

More on the Gallatin Solid Waste Management District at


90-Day Appeal Period Starting for Proposed Floodplain Maps

Media Alert

90-Day Appeal Period Starting for Proposed Floodplain Maps – City of Bozeman and Gallatin County


The City of Bozeman and Gallatin County have been working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) to update floodplain maps for the West Gallatin River and Bozeman Creek and its tributaries. Updated flood insurance rate maps will provide more accurate flood risk information that can help local officials and residents make informed decisions about reducing flood risks and purchasing flood insurance.

Before new flood insurance rate maps become effective, there is a 90-day Appeal Period during which local residents and business owners can provide additional data for consideration before the maps are finalized. The appeal period runs September 20 – December 18, 2018.

The existing floodplain maps for the West Gallatin River, Bozeman Creek, Matthew Bird Creek, Nash Spring Creek, Flat Creek and Mill Ditch Diversion were produced from studies conducted more than 30 years ago. Revising the maps is a key step in providing the best available data to help keep families, homes, roads and other infrastructure safe from future flood events.

The proposed maps and information about the Appeal and Comment Period are available online at or, or at the Gallatin County Planning Office or the Bozeman City Engineering Department.

Download Full Information Packet

Media Contacts:

Brian Heaston
Bozeman City Engineering

Sean O’Callaghan
Gallatin County Planning

Tiffany Lyden