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Fire Danger Is High For Early Fall Hunting And Angling

Drought & Fire

Friday, September 09, 2011

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks officials reminds hunters, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts that the wildland fire danger is high, with increasing numbers of counties instating Stage I fire restrictions.

Wildfires are burning on roughly 150,000 acres in Montana, according to InciWeb, the public website that provides wildland fire information in the Northern Rockies.

"Hunters and anglers generally know the appropriate precautions to take, what they might not realize is how quickly this fire season is developing," said Ron Aasheim, FWP spokesman. "We are urge hunters, anglers, state parks users and others to go to FWP's website for information on current fire restrictions and updates on wildland fires in Montana."

The FWP website links with InciWeb and the Northern Rockies Coordination Group for information on current and projected fire restrictions. The NRCG is the interagency coordination point for mobilizing resources to fight wildland fires.

"It is also a good idea to keep recreational vehicles loaded with the recommended gear during the next few weeks so it is always at hand," Aasheim said.

FWP also suggests tese steps to minimize the danger of starting a fire while afield.

  • Obey all fire restrictions.
  • Don't drive off-road.
  • Don't park over dry grass. A vehicle's catalytic converter or exhaust system can spark a fire. Find a bare spot along the roadside to park.
  • Avoid driving on roads with tall vegetation in the middle where possible. If it is necessary to drive on vegetated roads, take the time to clean out the vehicle's undercarriage and skid plate often.
  • Carry a shovel, axe, water and, if possible, a fire extinguisher.
  • When requesting permission to hunt, discuss the threat of wildfire with the landowner and come to a mutual agreement on the precautions you'll take.

For more information on wildland fire, go to fwp.mt.gov and click Restrictions, Closures & Reopenings. For the status of ongoing fires, visit the online source for fire information at http://www.inciweb.org.