How Montanans can stay safe as fire season heats up

GALLATIN COUNTY

jordan moore By Jordan Moore, KTVM Reporter, jmoore@ktvm.com
POSTED: 11:04 PM Jul 22 2013
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

With several fires burning across Southwest and Western Montana, fire season is officially here. In this dangerous fire weather, we dug into what you should know before the flames hit.

We spoke with several fire officials throughout the day.The common theme is, if you are not sure about something whether it is about open burning, or even about your campfire, it is always better to ask before things get out of hand.

A red flag warning loomed over parts of northern Gallatin County for most of Monday.

For Chief Mike Ulmen of the Manhattan Volunteer Fire Department, these warnings signal just how dangerous the weather can be.

"Generally with this hot weather and wind its going to change hour by hour," said Ulmen.

When we were at the fire department on Monday, Ulmen showed us one of the trucks that was out at the wildfire near Three Forks Sunday night. With fire season in full swing, we asked him what Montanans can do to stay safe.

"If you don't have to burn anything please don't. One spark is all it takes," said Ulmen.

Ulmen also tells us during fire season it is important to check the forecast before you head out the door.

"You look at the weather and hope that nobody is burning and everybody is being safe," said Ulmen.

With the danger also comes a reminder, things can take a turn for the worst in an instant.

"Things don't have to be brown to burn. Grass, trees, they will burn when they are green if it has been dried out enough," said Ulmen.