Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 1. Protection of Forest Resources

State Fire Policy

76-13-115. State fire policy. The legislature finds and declares that:

(1) the safety of the public and of firefighters is paramount in all wildfire suppression activities;

(2) it is a priority to minimize property and resource loss resulting from wildfire and to minimize expense to Montana taxpayers, which is generally accomplished through an aggressive and rapid initial attack effort;

(3) interagency cooperation and coordination among local, state, and federal agencies are intended and encouraged, including cooperation when restricting activity or closing areas to access becomes necessary;

(4) fire prevention, hazard reduction, and loss mitigation are fundamental components of this policy;

(5) all property in Montana has wildfire protection from a recognized fire protection entity;

(6) all private property owners and federal and state public land management agencies have a responsibility to manage resources, mitigate fire hazards, and otherwise prevent fires on their property;

(7) sound forest management activities to reduce fire risk, such as thinning, prescribed burning, and insect and disease treatments, improve the overall diversity and vigor of forested landscapes and improve the condition of related water, wildlife, recreation, and aesthetic resources;

(8) development of fire protection guidelines for the wildland-urban interface is critical to improving public safety and for reducing risk and loss; and

(9) catastrophic wildland fire in wildland-urban interface areas resulting from inadequate federal land management activities to reduce fire risk has the potential to jeopardize Montanans' inalienable right to a clean and healthful environment guaranteed in Article II, section 3, of the Montana constitution.

History: En. Sec. 1, Ch. 336, L. 2007; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 401, L. 2013.