The Missoula Fire Department relies on hydrants owned by Mountain Water Company to provide a water supply during fire suppression efforts. Mountain Water maintains over 1300 fire hydrants in Missoula.
One way Missoula citizens and visitors can help their firefighters do their job is to help us keep our hydrants in good working order and accessible. The area surrounding a fire hydrant located on private property is the responsibility of the property owner and needs to be carefully maintained. Obscured and/or inaccessible fire hydrants are a concern for your firefighters - if a hydrant is not clearly visible, fire crews responding to emergencies could be delayed in locating that hydrant. In a fire situation, time is of the essence and any delay could result in loss of life or property. Overgrowth and/or obstructions may hinder your firefighter's use of a hydrant during an emergency, potentially delaying the response.
The Uniform Fire Code states that "materials shall not be placed or kept near fire hydrants" and adds that "a three foot clear space shall be maintained around the circumference of the hydrants." Missoula's City Ordinance requires a five foot clearance around hydrants on new construction.
Public support for maintaining hydrants and the area surrounding them will help fire crews respond quickly and help save lives. If you note hydrants that are obstructed and / or damaged, please report that information to Mountain Water or to the Missoula Fire Department.