Drought & Fire
Friday, July 22, 2005
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks officials are urging anglers and those enjoying Montana's State Parks and other recreation opportunities to be careful in the outdoors.
"We're at that mid-summer point when Montana begins to dry out and water flows in the state's streams begin to noticeably drop," said Ron Aasheim, FWP conservation education administrator. "Fish will begin to feel the stress and the fire danger in some areas is becoming serious."
Aasheim said this time of year calls for extra caution when angling and when visiting or camping at Montana State Parks, Fishing Access Sites and on other lands.
Anglers can relieve stress on fish by fishing in the early morning hours or cool evening hours and by avoiding streams where the flows are noticably low. Aasheim said anglers may soon see calls for voluntary restrictions on some rivers in areas that continue to experience very dry conditions.
Simple precautions can help prevent wildfires and protect the state’s natural resources.
* Fires should be built only in established fireplaces or fire rings.
* Fires must be attended at all times and completely extinguished when users leave the area. Water should be poured on black coals and the coals stirred to ensure no sparks or live embers remain.
* Pack in a pick, shovel, axe, bucket, extra water, and other supplies that would be useful in a fire or other emergency. Camp only in developed campgrounds.
* Park automobiles on improved gravel or dirt surfaces and avoid driving or parking on unimproved roads with high grass growing in the center of the tracks. Catalytic converters on many cars may cause very dry grasses to spark and catch fire.
* Don’t smoke in areas experiencing extreme dryness. Do not throw cigarette butts out of car windows, as this highly dangerous practice can lead to wild fires.
* Plan to pack out your own trash in remote areas, taking special care to remove all potentially flammable materials.Please also follow all land use restrictions, including FWP regulations to safeguard the state's natural resources. For more on stream flow and regional conditions, go to the FWP Drought '05 web page.