HELENA – Just after 12:00 p.m. on Friday April 5 firefighters responded to a wildland fire in the area of Keir Road to the east of Helena.
When personnel initially arrived flames were around 3 feet in height. The fire burned between 3 to 4 acres of grass and is believed to have started at the base of a tree.
Tri-Lakes Volunteer Fire Department, East Valley Fire and Montana DNRC all responded to the call and were able to quickly get the fire under control once crews were one scene.
Tri-Lakes told MTN there was no burn permit active for the site.
“It’s very important that you get a burn permit so we know what’s going on in the county,” said Aaron Helfert, Tri-Lakes Assistant Fire Chief, “and it’s even more important to make sure you’ve got the ability to control that fire once you start it.”
This is the first wildlands fire of the season for Tri-Lakes and officials say the cause is currently unknown.
Active permits allow local fire agencies to track approved burns and respond quickly if there’s an emergency.
Lewis and Clark County are also reminding the public that people must obtain and activate a permit before starting a fire.
Open burning is allowed on private property, with permit, outside of Helena city limits. Within the city and the Westside Fire Service Area a person must also contact the Helena Fire Department in addition to obtaining a permit.
County permits cost $8 and are good for the entire year. Permits must be activated each day you plan to burn .
If a fire escapes control, citations and fines may be assessed and a person may have to pay the cost of suppression and damages caused to someone else’s property.