Fire officials raise danger level to “Very High”

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Cooperating Interagency Fire Officials across northwest Montana raised the Fire Danger Level from “High” to “Very High.”

When fire danger is “Very High,” fires can start easily from most causes. They can spread rapidly, grow quickly, and increase in intensity immediately after ignition. The increase in fire behavior can produce long-distance spotting, fire-whirls, often making fires difficult to control.

Since July 1 there have been a total of 33 reported wildfires in the area, with over half being human-caused. A few fire prevention tips include:

When recreating, please stay on designated roads and never park on dry brush or grass, as exhaust pipes and vehicle undercarriages can be very hot and easily start a wildfire.

Check spark arrestors on off-road vehicles, chain saws, and other equipment with internal-combustion engines to ensure they are in working order.

Never leaving a campfire unattended. Use water and a tool to mix and stir until your fire is out and cold to the touch.

Adjust trailer chains so that they are not dragging. Dragging chains throw sparks into roadside vegetation and ignite quickly moving grass fires.

Interagency Fire Officials will continue to monitor conditions and look closely at the number of human-caused fire starts to determine if fire restrictions should be implemented in the northwest Montana area.

For more information, contact your fire protection agency.

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