Fire officials are still concerned about the danger of wildfire in western Montana, despite the calendar advancing into September.

Fire Prevention Specialist Jordan Koppen with the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation said on Wednesday that western Montanans need to continue being careful with possible wildfire ignition sources.

“We’ve had a lot of consecutive hot dry days and the things that we need to worry about are the ignition sources that we use, especially campfires or anything that could be dragging on the pavement such as a trailer chain, flat tires along the roadside that could spark a wildfire,” said Koppen. “We’re just trying to warn the public that we’re still in fire season.”

Koppen reminds archery hunters that with the start of the season comes the risk of human caused wildfires.

“With the upcoming archery season I know a lot of people will be out in the woods staking out their territory and we’re just trying to help them understand the risk of wildfire,” he said. “It seems like campfires have been the number on problem this year. You’d be surprised at the number of abandoned campfires we’ve found throughout our southwestern zone here and the counties surrounding Missoula.”

And, just in case anyone might be confused about the proper way to douse a campfire, Koppen offers a primer.

“Drown it, then stir it, then drown it again and feel that it’s cold to the touch,” he said. “If you follow those rules it won’t be an issue that a fire agency will have to deal with in the future.”

The traditional wildfire season can run through October depending upon the severity of the conditions.



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