Governor's Executive Order Regarding Current Fire Conditions In Montana -- Brand Inspections
STATE OF MONTANA
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
EXECUTIVE ORDER No. 8-2020
EXECUTIVE ORDER DECLARING THAT THE CURRENT FIRE CONDITIONS ARE
CAUSING AN EMERGENCY TO EXIST STATEWIDE IN THE STATE OF MONTANA
WHEREAS, extremely hazardous wildland fire conditions currently exist throughout the State of
Montana as a result of many factors including above-average temperatures, unpredictable winds, and
WHEREAS, moderate to severe drought conditions continue to exist throughout most of the Central and
Eastern portions of Montana;
WHEREAS, numerous wildland fires have occurred and continue to ignite in the State of Montana;
WHEREAS, the hot and abnormally dry conditions are predicted to continue through the middle of
September, and, under current conditions, new wildland fire starts are likely throughout the State
WHEREAS, these conditions have caused an increased demand for aviation fuel and other fire
suppression resources, which necessitates increased driver hours to meet the demand;
WHEREAS, shortages in driver hours could threaten the health, property, and welfare of Montanans,
given the urgent demand for fire suppression resources;
WHEREAS, in the past, an aggressive initial attack on all wildland fire starts has been the top
priority of Montana’s fire fighting forces;
WHEREAS, continued aggressive initial attacks on all future wildland fire starts as well as
continued deployment of firefighting resources are needed to reduce the number of large wildland
fires, which in turn protects lives and significantly reduces the damage to both public and private
property in the state;
WHEREAS, coping with wildland fires necessitates the suspension of certain brand inspection
permitting fees and related requirements in order to make more efficient the evacuation of
livestock from areas threatened by wildland fires; and
WHEREAS, under current conditions, pursuant to §§ 10-3-302; 10-3-311; and 10-3-312, MCA, the
Governor may mobilize state resources and the Montana National Guard to protect life, health, and
property and may expend funds to meet contingencies and needs that may arise from
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Steve Bullock, Governor of the State of Montana, pursuant to the
authority vested in me under the Constitution and the laws of the State of Montana, do hereby
declare that a state of emergency exists in Montana as defined in § 10-3-103 and § 10-3-302, MCA,
and therefore order as follows:
I. Hours of Service Regulations
1. A temporary suspension of “hours of service” regulations, as provided in A.R.M. 18.8.1502
(incorporating by reference 49 C.F.R. parts 390 through 399), as they apply to drivers of
commercial vehicles while providing support to fire suppression activities.
2. A temporary suspension of temporary registration and temporary fuel permits normally required
under A.R.M. 18.8.422 for vehicles providing supplies to help support response to the emergency.
3. A temporary suspension of A.R.M. 18.8.509 to allow weekend, nighttime, and holiday travel
statewide for over-dimensional and overweight vehicles providing support for the fires; during
nighttime hours on non-interstate highways, loads exceeding 10 feet wide will need a flag vehicle
in the front and rear of the load.
4. Nothing in this Order shall be construed to waive or suspend any other state or federal
regulation pertaining to commercial motor carriers and commercial driver license requirements or to
relieve carriers and commercial drivers from operating their commercial motor vehicles in a safe
and prudent manner.
5. Commercial motor vehicle carriers, while under this Order, shall not require or allow fatigued
drivers to operate a motor vehicle.
6. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Order, if a driver informs a carrier that the
driver needs immediate rest, the “hours of service” requirements, enacted in § 61-10-154, MCA, and
implementing regulations, A.R.M. § 18.8.1502, must be followed.
II. Brand Inspection Requirements
1. A temporary suspension of the brand inspection permit fee requirement in § 81-3-205, MCA, and
in § 81-3-211(7), MCA, as well as of the brand inspection requirement prior to removal in §
81-3-211(2), MCA, but still requiring a transportation permit prior to removal and a brand
inspection at the point of destination.
2. The Montana Department of Livestock may issue transportation permits by telephone when
necessary to cope with the emergency.
This Order is effective immediately.