Friday, September 21, 2012
With many Montana counties operating under emergency fire restrictions, hunters need to know that some private landowners and Block Management Area cooperators may be reluctant to offer hunting access until weather conditions improve.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks urges hunters to check in with the nearest regional FWP office before making final plans. Meanwhile, all hunters must be prepared to prevent wildfire statewide.
"Hunters have a responsibility to be fire conscious," said Ron Aasheim, FWP spokesman in Helena. "It is a matter of human safety and it's our civic duty to be ready to protect the public and private lands we all enjoy."
Be aware that conditions remain volatile in many areas. Hunters should:
- drive only on established roads.
- avoid roads with tall vegetation in the middle track.
- never park over dry grass or other vegetation.
- carry a fire extinguisher—or water-filled weed sprayer—shovel, axe and a cell phone for communications in addition to other outdoor safety gear.
- restrict camping activities to designated camping areas.
- not build campfires.
- smoke only inside buildings or vehicles.
Being able to respond is essential in the first few seconds of a fire start when it is small and easily extinguished.