FAQs

BSFD’s Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the emergency telephone number in Big Sky for fire, police or ambulance?

A: 911

Q: Where can I find information on open burning or how to obtain a burn permit?

A: Opening burning is allowed, providing there are no burning restrictions in effect, between March 1st and November 30th with a burn permit. For complete information, please click on the Open Burning Information quick link on our Home Page or visit www.burnpermit.mt.gov. The cost of a burn permit is $15.00.

Q: How can I arrange a Fire Station tour or have a Fire Department representative speak at my school or group function?

A: Call the Big Sky Fire Department at 406-995-2100.

Q: How do I become an on-call member at the Big Sky Fire Department?

A: Being an on-call member is a great service to the community and a unique opportunity to learn lifesaving skills and gain invaluable life experience. On-call positions are available such as Firefighter, EMT-Basic, Driver/Operator and Support Staff. If you are interested, please call 406-995-2100 or stop by Station 1 in Westfork Meadows to pick-up an application.

Q: How do I locate the closest Fire Station to my home?

A: Many insurance companies ask the homeowner for this information. If you need assistance, please visit the “Fire District and Insurance Information” section under “About” tab.

Q: Where do I get my fire extinguisher filled or checked?

A: There are private businesses that provide this service. They are listed in the Yellow Pages under “Fire Extinguishers.”

Q: When I see or hear a fire engine and/or ambulance with lights and sirens turned on, what should I do?

A: By law, you are required to pull to the right and stop. This allows fire/ambulance apparatus to continue response safely and quickly.

Q: Can I come to the fire station to have my blood pressure checked?

A: Big Sky Fire Department personnel will check your blood pressure free of charge if they are not on another emergency call. Please feel free to stop by Station 1, Westfork Meadows and we will be happy to help you out!

Q: How do I obtain a copy of an incident report?

A: Please call 406-995-2100, Monday thru Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm to request a copy of a report. You will need to complete our request for information form and return to us. Please note that the turnaround time may be up to 10 business days.

Q: What should I do if my fire alarm or carbon monoxide alarm sounds?

A: Evacuate yourself and your family immediately and then call 911. The Fire Department is highly trained and uses advanced technological equipment to help them determine the reason for the activation and to ensure peace of mind for you and your family to reoccupy your home. Sometimes the activation may not be what you think and you could put yourself and your family at risk by not dealing with it. Remember, it is never a bother for the Fire Department to come and check your home in any event.

Q: What should I do if I smell natural gas, whether inside or outside?

A: Natural gas leaks can be dangerous and are to be taken seriously. Don’t activate any ignition source, such as turning on a light, lighting a match or turning on the stove. Evacuate yourself and your family immediately and then call 911 to report the odor. The Big Sky Fire Department will be dispatched to your home to assess the severity of the situation by using special gas detectors.

Q: What should I do if I smell a burning odor, observe smoke or find a fire in my home?

A: Evacuate yourself and your family immediately and then call 911.

Q: How often do I need to change the battery in my smoke detector?

A: We recommend that residents change the batteries in smoke detectors every six months. A good time to change the batteries is during the spring and fall time changes.

Q: What types of calls do you encounter?

A: Approximately 76% of the calls that Big Sky Fire responds to are EMS related. The remaining 24% include response to alarms, structure fires, wild land fires, motor vehicle collisions, service calls and hazardous materials calls.

Q: How often should I have my chimney cleaned and inspected?

A: This a tougher question than it sounds. The simple answer is: The National Fire Protection Association Standard 211 says, “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.” This is the national safety standard and is the correct way to approach the problem. It takes into account the fact that even if you don’t use your chimney much, animals may build nests in the flue or there may be other types of deterioration that could make the chimney unsafe to use. With heavy usage of certain fuels cleaning more often than once a year may be necessary.

Q: How do I obtain a Gallatin County Land Use Permit?

A: Please complete and submit the land use permit form Gallatin County Land Use Permit  and required submissions to admin@bigskyfire.org.

Q: What is a KNOX Box and do I need one for my home or business?

A: A KNOX Box is a rapid entry system for the fire department to access your home or business. It is only used in the case of an emergency. It reduces response time, property damage and liability for lost keys. If you have a home in Big Sky that is not always inhabited you should have a KNOX Box. If you have a business in Big Sky (unless it is occupied by employees 24/7 like a hotel) you should have a KNOX Box. To obtain a KNOX Box order form and/or more information about KNOX Boxes, please call the Fire Department at 406-995-2100.

Q: Does the Big Sky Fire Department perform fire inspections?

A: The Big Sky Fire Department performs fire and life safety inspections on commercial property and vacation rental property. The Fire Department schedules inspections with the business owner or manager, or the business owners or manager can request an inspection from the Fire Department by calling 406-995-2100. If you are a homeowner or renter, and you have questions about the fire safety in your home, you can contact the Fire Department at 406-995-2100 to answer your questions or schedule an inspection.