State Fire Marshal’s Office & Fire Prevention

"Montana’s rural nature and unpredictable climate create some challenging fire safety circumstances for our state’s paid and volunteer fire fighters, and for the State Fire Marshal’s Office. Our deputy state fire marshals take pride in the investigative and fire safety expertise they provide to communities throughout the state."

Allen Lorenz, Montana State Fire Marshal

State Fire Marshal’s Office

Montana’s Fire Prevention and Investigation Program is authorized by Title 50, Chapter 3 of the Montana Code Annotated.

Under that program, Montana’s deputy state fire marshals:

  • provide statewide fire prevention and investigation services to nearly 400 fire agencies, 56 county sheriff’s departments, more than 60 city police departments and numerous other state and federal agencies
  • assist with adoption of fire safety regulations, inspection of public buildings, establishment and promotion of fire prevention programs, certification of local inspection programs, and the investigation of fires to determine cause and origin
  • manage and maintain the records of all fires that occur within the state
  • provide training to local public safety agencies

Fire Reporting Requirements

The State Fire Marshal’s Office manages the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) for Montana through an e-mail account. Local fire and law enforcement agencies can e-mail dojnfirs@mt.gov or call (406) 444-2050 to:

  • get the latest version of the reporting system (also available from www.nfirs.fema.gov)
  • report incidents to NFIRS
  • reset your department password
  • reactivate an inactive NFIRS account (Note: To keep your NFIRS account active, log in on a monthly basis even if there is no incident to report. Simply check the “no activity” box and log out.)
  • ask questions about the reporting system

Please include the nature of your request in the e-mail’s subject line.

Guidelines for Requesting Assistance

The State Fire Marshal’s Office makes deputy state fire marshals available to assist in determining the cause and origin of fires. It is appropriate for local fire or law enforcement officials to request assistance when they need help in:

  • investigating fires that caused substantial financial losses (approximately $250,000 or more)
  • investigating fires involving fatalities or serious injuries
  • determining the cause of a fire

To request assistance with a fire investigation:

  • during regular business hours, call the State Fire Marshal’s Helena office at (406) 444-2050
  • after hours, call the Montana Highway Patrol dispatch at (406) 841-7044

Be ready to explain that you need the assistance of a Deputy State Fire Marshal at a fire scene and provide:

  • your name, title, agency, city and county
  • a telephone number where you can be reached

Shortly after a local agency requests assistance, a Deputy State Fire Marshal will call to gather information and discuss when he or she will arrive on the scene. Prior to a Deputy State Fire Marshal’s arrival, it is helpful if local officials:

  • secure the scene
  • gather witness information
  • diagram the building

Contact the State Fire Marshal’s Office

Citizens with information about a fire should contact their local fire or law enforcement agency, or the State Fire Marshal’s Office at (406) 444-2050.

Local fire and law enforcement agencies should review the Guidelines for Requesting Assistance before contacting the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Allen Lorenz, State Fire Marshal
Fire Prevention and Investigation Section
Division of Criminal Investigation
Department of Justice
2225 11th Avenue
P.O. Box 201417
Helena, MT 59620-1415
Phone: (406) 444-2050
Fax: (406) 444-2759
E-mail: alorenz@mt.gov

Regional Offices

Area 1 – Flathead, Granite, Lake, Lincoln, Mineral, Missoula, Sanders and Ravalli Counties
Dawn R. Drollinger, Deputy State Fire Marshal
Fire Prevention & Investigation Section
Division of Criminal Investigation
P.O. Box 1864
Kalispell, MT 59903
Phone: (406) 257-2584
E-mail: ddrollinger@mt.gov
Area 4 – Big Horn, Carbon, Fergus, Golden Valley, Musselshell, Park, Stillwater, Sweet Grass, Wheatland and Yellowstone Counties
Sally McKenna, Deputy State Fire Marshal
Fire Prevention & Investigation Section
Division of Criminal Investigation
P.O. Box 31094
Billings, MT 59107-1094
Phone: (406) 896-4388
E-mail: smckenna@mt.gov
Area 2 – Blaine, Cascade, Chouteau, Glacier, Hill, Judith Basin, Lewis & Clark, Liberty, Pondera, Teton and Toole Counties
Dick Swingley, Deputy State Fire Marshal
Fire Prevention & Investigation Section
Division of Criminal Investigation
P.O. Box 991
Great Falls, MT 59403
Phone: (406) 791-2710
E-mail: diswingley@mt.gov
Area 5 – Beaverhead, Broadwater, Deer Lodge, Gallatin, Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, Madison, Meagher, Powell and Silver Bow Counties
Pat Clinch, Deputy State Fire Marshal
Fire Prevention & Investigation Section
Division of Criminal Investigation
P.O. Box 201415
Helena, MT 59620-1415
Phone: (406) 444-1919
E-mail: pclinch@mt.gov
Area 3 – Carter, Custer, Daniels, Dawson, Fallon, Garfield, McCone, Petroleum, Phillips, Powder River, Prairie, Richland, Roosevelt, Rosebud, Sheridan, Treasure, Valley and Wibaux Counties
Jerry Smith, Deputy State Fire Marshal
Fire Prevention & Investigation Section
Division of Criminal Investigation
710 Fort, #10
Miles City, MT 59301
Phone: (406) 232-9765
E-mail: jdsmith@mt.gov

Other Fire Resources