The governors of Montana and ten other Western states have proclaimed May as Wildfire Awareness Month. Fire prevention agencies and organizations across the state invite all Montanans to participate. Spring is an ideal time to raise awareness about how we can all help improve our communities wildfire preparedness and learn what risk reduction steps we can take to prepare our families and properties for wildfire.
Proactive actions from a single individual, or entire neighborhood, contribute to a safer community when wildfires happen. Become a local champion by committing a couple of hours or an entire day to reducing your property’s wildfire risk; and contributing toward your community becoming more fire adapted.
Here are a few ways to prevent and prepare for wildfires:
•Clean out gutters, roofs and other areas where debris has settled
•Trim shrubs and trees so they are at least 3 feet from your home.
•Avoid burning on windy days and never leave a burn pile unattended
•Create an evacuation plan, with at least 2 routes, and practice each route with family members
•Keep the space around your home, known as the home ignition zone, clear of dense vegetation
•Take action in your community by organizing a wildfire preparedness event
Preparedness is a shared responsibility and we all have a role. Visit www.keepgreen.org to see what events are happening near you or to find out how to plan an event in your community.
— Ashley Juran, Montana DNRC