With record flooding this spring and rain in July, it is easy to forget that August is fire season in Montana, say Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks officials.
"As early season hunters take to the field we are especially concerned about accidental fire starts caused when dry vegetation accumulates in a vehicle's skid plate or catalytic converter," said Ron Aasheim, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks spokesman. "Hot temperatures have cured summer's lush vegetation, increasing the likelihood of grass fires."
Driving on roads with drying vegetation along the edges or growing down the middle of a two-track road can and does cause autumn fire starts.
"Hunters have an especially big responsibility to be fire conscious," Aasheim said. "It is a matter of human safety and of protecting the resources of Montana."
Hunters should take the time needed to:
Good judgment is essential in the first few seconds of a fire start when it is small and easily extinguished.
"It is also essential to know when to back off and who to call for help if you come upon a fire or accidentally cause one in the outdoors that is too big to easily put out," Aasheim said. "FWP urges hunters to have a personal safety action plan when outdoors, for fire starts as well as in the case of other types of accidents, severe injuries or other emergency."