Q. Why do we need burning permits.
A. Burning permits register the address of residents who are burning, so 911 dispatchers can track the locations of all approved burns in the area. This allows Dispatchers to determine whether a smoke plume/fire is an emergency, such as a wildfire or structure fire. By tracking approved burns, the Fire Department may not have to be dispatched each time smoke/fire is reported and this will limit the amount of time volunteer firefighters spend responding to non-emergency calls and allow them to focus on true emergencies.
Q. How do I get a burning permit?
A. Burn Permits are available on line at any time during the year you want to burn. You can go to www.BurnPermits.mt.gov These permits may only be activated after March 1st of the year the permit was issued in. If you need assistance in obtaining a permit, members of the Florence Fire District will be at fire station 1 on Saturday mornings, from March 1st to May 1st, at 9 am to 11 am to assist you in obtaining a permit.
Q. Can the Fire District help me with a controlled burn.
A. Yes, but as a volunteer organization we can only help with a limited number of burns. Priority is given to higher risk burns, and then first come/first served.
Q. When is burning season open, how do I find out?
A. Burning season usually starts March 1 and ends November 30, of each year. Depending in what county you will be burning in, there are restrictions that can apply. When you activate your permit, if restrictions are in effect at that time, you will be advised that you can not burn during that time frame. When fire danger increases due to hotter temperatures, lower humidity and increased winds, this can make burning very unsafe, and if these conditions exist for an extended period, burning will be closed. When the long term forecasts indicate safer conditions burning season can be reopened. Burning is closed in the winter months due to the air inversions and the impact on air quality in the valley.
Q: How can I be a Fire Cadet?
A. The Cadet Program provides training to interested youth who are between 14 and 18 years old. For more information on our Cadet program, please use this link: How to Volunteer.
Q. How do I contact Florence Rural Fire District?
A. Florence Fire Stations are not manned unless there is an emergency call. Call 911 with any emergency. Routine matters can be left on the district answering machine.
Q. How does the Florence Fire District get money to operate?
A. There is a property tax levy within the district that provides basic operating funds. Donations and earnings from supporting other departments and State and Federal agencies also support the district.
Q. What does a Fire Engine cost?
A. That depends on the type of fire engine. Florence Fire has two Type 1 Structural Engines, two Type 3 Wildland Engines, and Two Type 6 Wildland Engines. Additionally there are 2 Water Tenders and a Crew Cab Pickup that carries Fire/Rescue/EMS and command gear, an ambulance and a quick response unit. The current fleet varies from 5 to 25 years old. Some were bought used, some of our fire equipment has been moved from truck chassis to truck chassis four or five times. New fire equipment is prohibitively expensive, a small truck costing $100,000 and up to a half million dollars for structural engines. The Florence Fire District shops for new, used, and surplus equipment to get the best value out of the tax dollars being spent.
Q. Why do Florence Fire Engines go out on fires in other districts?
A. Our engines are sent out on "Mutual Aid" to other fire departments who have an incident and have requested additional help. Our engines are also sent out to support the State and Federal agencies responsible for wildland fire protection on large scale fires.
Q. What do Florence Fire District Firefighters get paid?
A. Florence Firefighters, including the Chief and other officers, are all unpaid volunteers. The District Board employs a part-time paid secretary.
Q. Will I get charged for calling the Fire Department?
A. There is no charge for calling 911, and there is no charge from the fire district.
Q. Should motorists stop when they see or hear an emergency vehicle approaching with emergency lights and siren operating?
A. Yes. Montana law states the following: "Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle making use of audible and visual signals meeting the requirements of 61-9-402 or of a police vehicle properly and lawfully making use of an audible signal only, the operator of every other vehicle shall yield the right-of-way and shall immediately drive to a position parallel to, and as close as possible to, the right-hand edge or curb of the roadway clear of any intersection and shall stop and remain in that position until the authorized emergency vehicle or police vehicle has passed"
Q. When drivers approach an emergency vehicle scene, what precautions should they take?
A. Do not make the emergency scene worse. Drivers should maintain a safe driving speed, keep their eyes on the road and follow directions from authorized personnel. Be aware that other emergency vehicles may be approaching the scene.
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