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DNRC Headquarters
1539 Eleventh Ave. Helena, MT 59601
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Fire Protection

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We protect lives, property and natural resources from wildfire by providing safe and effective services to Montana's citizens as well as leadership, coordination and resources to the State's wildfire organizations.

Mission statement from DNRC Fire Protection Strategic Plan
Fire Season Summary: 2017 MT DNRC

The purpose of the strategy embodied in this document is to position the DNRC Fire Protection Program for long-term success in an operating environment undergoing constant, fundamental change. The strategy also prepares us to adapt to both the changing physical environment in which we work as well as the changing needs of Montana's citizens and our agency cooperators. As we implement this strategy, we will continue to produce the responsive and effective results we produce now, while we anticipate and navigate our challenges and set an action oriented strategic course that achieves a desired future.

Success of the strategy ultimately requires alignment and purposeful implementation from the Department Director to the firefighter on the ground. Most importantly, with this strategy, the DNRC commits to having one, single, statewide fire protection program. We implement our program in two major ways and at multiple locations, but we are one program with one, unified strategy that will guide the Montana DNRC Fire Protection Program into the future.

 COVID-19: MT DNRC Fire Protection Guidance

MT DNRC COVID-19 Guidance, Requirements & Protocols have been Rescinded

MT DNRC Briefing Paper on Fire COVID-19 Rescision  3/24/2022






All wildlands in Montana have some form of fire protection. A total of 50,265,678 acres of state and private land are protected.

  • Direct Protection of 5.2 million acres; 3.5 million acres of state and private lands and 1.7 million acres of federal public lands.
  • County Cooperative Fire Protection on roughly 50 million acres statewide, 5.2 million are interspersed within the direct protection program. The remaining 45 million acres are protected by a network of 400 fire departments statewide. Additionally, the Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) Program provides grants to county fire agencies for equipment, training, and fire prevention materials. The VFA Program is funded by the USDA Forest Service.
  • The bureau operates and maintains a fleet of 10 aircraft; 7 helicopters, and 3 fixed wing airplanes.


Firefighter and public safety is our first priority.  The primary means by which we prevent accidents in wildland fire operations is through aggressive risk management.  Our safety philosophy acknowledges that while the ideal level of risk may be zero, a hazard free work environment is not a reasonable or achievable goal in fire operations.


There are numerous programs aimed at effective fire preparedness and capacity building.  The Fire Preparedness effort is focused in four areas:

  • Fire Prevention Program seeks to educate Montanans about fire risk, the wildland urban interface and reducing human-caused fires;
  • Fire Training Program provides statewide training opportunities for DNRC and local government personnel;
  • Equipment Development Center builds and maintains wildland fire equipment and radio communications;
  • Fire Support Programs provide financial and technical expertise to assist all fire programs in meeting their respective goals and mandates. These include, but not limited to: Fire Assessment fees, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), repair and maintenance of radio systems and rolling stock equipment.



The Fire Business Program develops and coordinates business management policies and procedures to meet agency needs within interagency, department, and State of Montana standards.

  • Provide advise, council, and a coordinating direction on incident business management issues.
  • Coordinate business practices for wildfire and all-risk emergency responses among the federal, state, and local agencies.
  • Review operational business management practices to identify business irregularities, propose a plan-of-action, and monitor.
  • Review cost accounting procedures and recommend strategies for cost containment.
  • Develop interagency guidelines and procedures for the DNRC.



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Fire Protection Contacts

Fire FAX:406-542-4242

Bureau Chief   
Fire Protection     406-542-4223

Deputy Chief    
Operations         406-542-4220

Planning & Intel 
Fire Protection    406-865-0556

Westside Incident    
Business Specialist   406-751-2245

Eastside Incident       
Business Specialist    406-535-1902




2705 Spurgin Road, Missoula, MT 59804
Phone: (406) 542-4300
Fax: (406) 542-4217