KALISPELL, Mont. - The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation is raising fire danger in the Flathead Valley to Moderate as the Fourth of July weekend begins.
The DNRC said they made the decision because June rainfall was below average and they expect hot and dry conditions to continue "for the foreseeable future". There have been several wildfire starts in the last few weeks, including one in Missoula's Greenough Park.
The DNRC offered this advice to people hoping to avoid the risk of wildfire over the holiday:
- If planning to use fireworks, remember that they may quickly ignite grasses and forest fuels. Pay attention to where fireworks land and have water on site to extinguish any fires.
- Remember that fireworks are never allowed on Federal or State Classified Forest lands, including Flathead National Forest and Glacier National Park.
- Have a bucket of water and a shovel on hand when planning to have a campfire, and make sure your campfire is cold to the touch before leaving.
- If pulling a boat or camper trailer, adjust chains so that they are not touching the ground. Dragging chains produce sparks that may ignite grassfires along roadsides.
- Avoid driving or parking hot vehicles in dry grass.
- And last, just a reminder that NO debris burning is allowed during the months of July, August, and September due to fire season. Typically, escaped and illegal debris burns are one of the top causes of wildfires in the Flathead area.