Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Hunting - Region 7
The fall upland game bird and dove hunting seasons are set to open on September 1. The fire danger is extreme so hunters need to take precautions against starting a prairie fire. During a dry fall the chance of starting a fire is a serious concern to landowners, land management agencies and recreationists. Using common sense and taking a few simple steps to minimize the danger of starting a fire while we use the prairie can save everyone a lot of time, effort and expense. Human caused fires can be avoided.
The landscape across Montana is extremely dry with a heavy fuel load of grass from abundant spring moisture. The trees are very dry so extra precautions are necessary for all of us who use or work in the prairie. We all need to do our part in the prevention of wildland fires by using common sense and being prepared.
The 2006 fall hunting season is just a few days away and the early archery hunting season has already begun. Landowners and land management agencies are concerned, as more folks will be out in the countryside. Following some simple common sense guidelines will reduce the chance of a human caused fire start:
- When you park your vehicle make sure no fuel (dry grass) is touching the catalytic converter or exhaust system. Find a bare spot along the roadside to park. Park your vehicle in an acceptable area. Don’t block the flow of traffic.
- Carry fire suppression equipment in your vehicle. Water and a shovel are probably minimum requirements. Having a fire extinguisher is a plus. The old adage of “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” applies. Just follow your common sense and be cautious.
- When requesting permission to hunt, discuss the fire threat with the landowner so he/she knows you are aware of the problem and will act accordingly. You may be required to park your vehicle and walk.
- It’s important to find out the fire restrictions that apply to the location you intend to hunt or camp. That information is readily available by calling the local land management agencies, county commissioners or the local fire department. In most of eastern Montana open fires are prohibited due to the extreme fire danger.
- Common sense tells us not to drive off-road when conditions are so dry.
Using common sense will help ensure a safe and enjoyable outdoor experience this fall for you and the landowners. Everyone appreciates a safe and fire-free fall hunting experience.