NewsWildfire Watch


Human-caused fires drop, but Montanans urged to use extreme caution

Posted at 3:23 PM, Aug 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-09 17:32:04-04

MISSOULA – While the fire risk soars along with the temperature, there is some good news Wednesday afternoon.

Fire prevention specialists say there have been fewer small fires being caused by people this past week.

A couple of weeks ago, local fire departments and public lands agencies were alarmed at the dozens of small fires they had to extinguish, fortunately catching all of the fires before they became a major blaze.

In recent days, there have been fewer of those fire starts. But with the risk climbing to “extreme”, fire managers say we need to be more vigilant than ever.

“Yeah, folks are doing great right now. We’ve seen a decrease in human-caused fires in the last week,” said Western Montana Fire Prevention Team Leah Rediske. “However, that chance is always there. Right now, abandoned campfires are the number one cause of those fires. But we’re looking toward Stage 2 Restrictions so no campfires, so other means of ignition are going to be our focus.”

That includes the concerns over vehicle problems, like dragging tow chains and faulty equipment on cars and trucks. Rediske reminds people to continually check their vehicles for problems that can create sparks and ignite fires in these explosive conditions.

Reporting by Dennis Bragg for MTN News