Written by The Herald-News
As summer comes to a close and school starts, conditions are very dry and the BLM would like to remind hunters and other recreationists to take extra precautions.
Keep in mind that a few simple steps can help prevent wildfires.
Keep your vehicle on the road, never leave a campfire unattended and smoke only in an enclosed vehicle or building, making sure to crush smokes out completely. Always inspect trailers for proper maintenance and ensure that safety chains are not dragging.
Under BLM Off-Highway Vehicle regulations, no cross country travel is permitted and drivers are encouraged to avoid parking over flammable vegetation. Any internal combustion engine operated on public lands must be equipped with a properly installed, functioning spark arrester and must stay on established roads and trails.
“When out enjoying public lands or hunting, avoid parking in tall dry grass. If you must park in dry grass, patrol the area around your vehicle to ensure that a fire has not been started,” said BLM fire education specialist Carmen Thomason.
“With just a few simple steps we can prevent human caused fires,” she said. “Checking spark arrestors on off-road vehicles and avoiding driving in tall dry grass during the heat of summer are just a few ways to help.”
Thomason encouraged the public to bookmark the Montana Fire Restrictions website at: http://firerestrictions.us/mt/ and frequently check for the latest updates before heading outdoors.
“It’s important to be ‘wildfire-aware’ whether out shooting, camping or just simply pulling a trailer,” said BLM fire management officer Eric Lepisto. “Simple precautions will help keep our firefighters and the public safe while saving taxpayers’ dollars and protecting public and private lands."
“By being careful we can stop wildfires before they start,” he said.
Anyone who causes a wildland fire intentionally or through negligence will be held accountable for damage and suppression costs. To report wildfires, call 911.
For the latest BLM news, visit www.blm.gov/mt.