Federal land management agencies around the region have raised their fire danger level to "Very High." The Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest Service officials are reminding hunters and recreationists to "be prepared and know before you go".
In that regard, they are offering the following tips to prevent starting a wildfire.
As vegetation continues to dry out and summer weather is still upon us, it is important to do your part to ensure you do not start a wildfire. Before you head outdoors be sure you know the below items.
- Make sure any vehicles or equipment used have properly maintained mufflers, bearings, tires and that safety chains are not dragging.
- Know what the weather forecast is not only for that day, but the next day as well.
- If campfire and/or warming fires are allowed, keep your fire less than three feet in diameter and follow safe campfire practices.
- Make sure you have an adequate clear zone around your campfire (four feet of area cleared of flammable material for every one foot of your campfire's flame height).
- Never leave a campfire unattended.
- Make sure it is cold to the touch before leaving.
- Know what fire restrictions are in place for the area you're in by checking www.firerestrictions.us or contacting the local land agency.
- Stay on established roads and trails when exploring the forests and back country. Avoid driving over dry grass that could ignite by a hot exhaust system.
- Firewood cutters should operate chainsaws in the cool morning hours and keep a shovel and fire extinguisher nearby. Chainsaws must be equipped with spark arresters.
In region 5, which includes Butte-Silver Bow and Gallatin County, stage one restrictions are in place which means no fires and no smoking unless within an enclosed vehicle, building, developed recreation site, or area 3 feet in diameter cleared of all flammable materials