Montana Wildfire Awareness Week

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Keep Montana Green & DNRC, Crystal Beckman, 406.370.8755
FireSafe Montana, Jennifer LaManna, 406.431.8718
Governor’s Office of Community Service, Kathryn Gallagher 406.444.1718

 

BE AWARE. PREPARE. DO!
Montana Wildfire Awareness Week June 3 - 9

Montana, May 26, 2013 –Join in as communities around the state “Be Aware. Prepare. Do!” for Wildfire Awareness Week. FireSafe Montana, Keep Montana Green, the Governor’s Office of Community Service, and the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation have teamed up to raise awareness about wildland fire safety, preparedness, and prevention. Wildfire Awareness Week is set for June 3 – 9, 2013.

Taking the steps now to protect your home and property from wildfire and knowing how you can prevent wildfires can make all the difference. Whether you are preparing for wildfire around your home, debris burning, or out camping, being aware and preparing for wildfires is key to being safe. From the homeowner who creates defensible space around their property, to the builders and forestry contractors who help mitigate hazardous fuels on private property, to the fire chief who directs the firefighters during a wildland fire, to the fire warden who helps their community develop community evacuation plans – we all need to work together to keep Montana fire safe!

Here are a few preparedness tips you can do around your homes before fire season starts:

  • Trim and prune trees and shrubs around your home and buildings.
  • Check your rain gutters, roof crevices, and eaves. Make sure all debris is cleared leaving no place for a fire ember to land and start a fire.
  • If you have ornamental shrubs and trees touching your home or wood chips surrounding the base consider trimming the shrubs and trees so they are at least 3 feet from the home. Replace any flammable landscape decorations with nonflammable materials like stones or brick.
  • Create a family evacuation plan. Make sure you and your family have a strategy before a wildfire comes into your backyard.
  • Create a defensible space around your home. Keep the vegetation around your home well watered, well-trimmed, and clean of excess dead or flammable plant materials. Remember defensible space needs to be maintained throughout the summer to ensure that your home remains defensible.

For more information go to www.firesafemt.org

Here are a few prevention tips to keep you safe and prevent wildfires this summer:

  • When burning be sure to never leave your burn piles unattended, do not burn when it is windy, have plenty of water and check with your local fire department for burn permits and safety tips.
  • Make sure all mechanical outdoor equipment (tractors, chainsaws, off-road vehicles, etc.) are equipped with properly-working mufflers, bearings, spark arrestors and chains that do not drag.
  • Before starting a camp fire make sure you have an area cleared of debris, a fire ring made from nonflammable material like rocks or metal and when you leave the fire make sure it is completely out. Add water, stir, and be sure it is cool to the touch.
  • It is important to remember that it only takes one spark to start a wildfire during hot, windy and dry summer days. Please use caution when using lawn mowers, tractors, or other equipment in dry grass. Rocks and spinning blades or other metal can produce sparks.

For more information visit www.keepgreen.org

Don’t wait until the dry, hot days of summer are here and the flames are coming over the hill. Firefighters can’t do it without your help! Please join the state wide effort to help make yourself, family, and community safe by preventing fires and prepareing your home from wildfire. For more information on upcoming events and how you can get involved contact Jennifer LaManna, Executive Director, FireSafe Montana, execdir@firesafemt.org, 406.431.8718, or visit www.firesafemt.org

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