Wildfire Awareness Week

Wildfire Awareness Week 2014 - June 2-8

Mark your calendars! Wildfire Awareness Week is June 2-8.  The theme this year is Wildfires Happen – Take Action! Plan. Prepare. Prevent.  WAW is a weeklong effort to raise awareness in Montana about wildfire safety.  FireSafe Montana, Keep Montana Green, the Governor’s Office of Community Service, the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, and Montana Red Cross have teamed up to make sure you and your family are prepared for wildfire season.

WAW will feature a five day wildfire awareness communications campaign, with daily news releases on a variety of topics to encourage widespread media coverage. On Tuesday, June 3rd, a kick-off event at the Capitol in Helena will include remarks by Governor Bullock, the Helena Fire Department, a presentation by the Tri-County FireSafe Working Group, and wildfire preparedness tips from Montana Red Cross.

Wildfire Awareness Week_June 2014

There are several additional events going on throughout the state. Find a map and more information at these websites:

http://batchgeo.com/map/696ec24a50eb3ba95d6f7e8fa3d10fd8

http://firesafemt.org/calendar-events/wildfire-awareness-week/

Here are some tips as you prepare for wildfire season:

  • Learn before you burn.  Never leave your burn pile unattended. For Safe Debris Burning tips and burn permits check with your local Fire Department.
  • Take Steps Now to Protect your Home and Property from Wildfires.  Trim and prune trees and shrubs around your home and buildings. Learn more at www.firesafemt.org
  • Make sure all mechanical outdoor equipment such as tractors, chainsaws, off-road vehicles, and others are equipped with properly-working mufflers and bearings.
  • Have you checked your rain gutters, roof crevices, and eaves?  Take the time now to make sure all debris is cleared leaving no place for a fire ember to land and start a fire.
  • Before starting a camp fire make sure you have an area cleared of debris and a fire ring made from nonflammable material like rocks.  When you leave the fire make sure it is completely out by adding water, stirring, and making sure it is cold to the touch.
  • Do 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 3ft from the home and replacing any flammable landscape decorations with nonflammable materials like concrete or stones.
  • Know before you go!  During the summer months counties will have fire restrictions limiting recreational campfires and debris burns.  Make sure you know whether your county or destination is under fire restrictions.
  • Wildfires can be unpredictable and move fast. You may have to evacuate your home quickly. Make a grab and go bag with important family documents, medications, and other essential items. Check out useful items to include by visiting ready.mt.gov
  • It is important to remember that any spark is enough to start a wildfire during hot, windy and dry summer days. Make sure that you aren’t dragging chains and use caution when using a lawn mower remember rocks and spinning blades can produce sparks.
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