Montana’s wildfire season is not over. As hot and dry conditions are spreading throughout Montana, it is important for you to do your part in preventing wildfires while being safe and having fun this Labor Day. Here are some things to remember as you head out this weekend:
Know Before You Go
Areas of Montana are in restrictions. Check to see if any restrictions are in the area you are going by visiting www.firerestrictions.us or contact the local fire agency.
Every year bad bearings, mufflers, tires and dragging chains start wildfires. These fires are easily preventable with some basic maintenance. Here are some things to look for:
1. Make sure all mechanical outdoor equipment (tractors, chainsaws, off-road vehicles, etc.) are equipped with properly working mufflers and bearings.
2. Avoid driving or parking in tall dry grass. Exhaust systems can easily start fires.
3. If your vehicle breaks down, stay on the road or pull off on an approach.
4. Well-maintained tires reduce the risk of blowouts. Exposed rims can spark fires.
5. Make sure safety chains are secured properly. Dragging chains can spark fires.
Campfires and warming fires are a lot of fun, but starting a fire comes with responsibility. Everyone needs to take the following steps before having a campfire:
1. Know what the weather forecast is that day, but also the next day as well.
2. Keep your campfire and warming fires at a manageable size.
3. Make sure you have an adequate clear zone around your campfire and warming fires: 4 feet of area cleared for every 1 foot of flame height.
4. Never leave a campfire or warming fire unattended – MAKE SURE IT IS COLD TO THE TOUCH BEFORE LEAVING EVERY TIME.
If a fire does get out of control, call 911 immediately.