Wildfire Season

By Emergency Preparedness

As the end of summer approaches, the vegetation in and around Gallatin County is dry from the hot, sunny days with little rainfall. But when rain does come, so do the afternoon and evening thunderstorms. Together, this creates the perfect recipe for fire.

Wildfire season is here.

Although some parts of the country have already been struggling with fires this season, mainly in the Northwest and Southern California, the typically dry climates in the Southwest and Northern Rockies have seen a calmer fire season so far. However, as of writing, there are fires burning in areas of Western Montana, and Gallatin County has experienced smaller wildfires due to lightening, which resulted in trails being closed for a period of time while firefighters worked on fire containment.

Is your Home at Risk?

If you live near a forest interface, or on or near heavily wooded lands, you should be aware of mitigation actions to protect your property. This includes escape routes and evacuation procedures. It is also helpful to have an evacuation kit packed with important documents and other essential items in case of a wildfire emergency.

For more information about evacuation and emergency kits, check out http://www.readygallatin.com/wildfire.php.

Pets & Livestock

In case of a nearby wildfire, it’s important to also have a plan for your pets and livestock. The Humane Society of the United States offers disaster planning tips for pets, livestock, and wildlife. heck it out here: http://www.readygallatin.com/factsheets/disaster_planning_for_pets_lifestock.pdf.

Fire Restrictions

When wildfires occur, some recreation areas are closed down while firefighters contain the fire. When traveling into the woods to hike, camp, fish, or for any reason, it is important to know the fire danger risks and always comply with fire restrictions. Check them out here: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/gallatin/home/?cid=stelprdb5136913.

Air Quality

Ever notice that the air looks a little smoky some days? Smoke from wildfires can affect all of us, even from far away fires in other states. Smoke in the air can be quite hazardous, and air quality can be easily determined by visibility. For more information on daily air quality, check out: http://healthygallatin.org/healthy-homes/air-quality/outdoor-air/.

For more information about Emergency Preparedness in Gallatin County, go here.