Shultz, Thomas

Governor's Executive Order Regarding Current Fire Conditions In Montana -- Brand Inspections



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 
low humidity;

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 
of Montana;

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
the emergency.

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.

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