Everyone appreciates a safe and fire-free fall hunting experience. The 2013 fall hunting season is a few weeks away and the early archery-hunting season began mid-August. Landowners and land management agencies are concerned about fire danger despite the rains the area has experienced. “Things dry out faster than we think;” commented John Ensign, Region 7 Wildlife Manager, “and the landscape across Montana can be dry while containing a heavy fuel load of grass from spring and summer moisture.” We all need to do our part in the prevention of wild land fires by using common sense and being prepared.
These simple common sense guidelines will reduce the chance of a human caused fire:
• When parking your vehicle make sure no fuel (dry grass) is touching the catalytic converter or exhaust system. Find a bare spot along the roadside to park. Park your vehicle in an acceptable area. Don’t block the flow of traffic.
• Carry fire suppression equipment in your vehicle, such as water, shovel and or a fire extinguisher for example.
• When requesting permission to hunt, discuss the fire threat with the landowner so he/she knows you are aware of the problem and will act accordingly. You may be required to park your vehicle and walk.
• It’s important to find out the fire restrictions that may be in effect in the location you intend to hunt or camp. That information is readily available by calling the local land management agencies, county commissioners or the local fire department.
• Do not drive off-road when conditions are dry.
• Any county that has instituted Stage 1 fire restrictions prohibits an open fire that cannot be turned on and off, such as propane fueled stove.