With the advent of deep summer and with the disaster declaration by Missoula County Commissioners on Wednesday, State Auditor and Insurance Commissioner Matt Rosendale urges those living in the wildland urban interface to make preparations in case of fire.

Spokesman Kyle Schmauch said preparations are necessary before, during and after a fire.

“Insurance companies will not write policies on properties that are at immediate risk of being destroyed,” said Schmauch. “That goes for wildfires or during flood season, so be sure to get your insurance ahead of time. In addition, be sure to create a home inventory with a list of everything your own so that it’s easy in case of a loss to prove what was lost in a fire.”

Schmauch also had advice for what to do during a fire.

“If your property is being threatened and you are evacuated, many policies will cover expenses incurred during a mandatory evacuation, so keep all receipts, from gas, to hotel bills so that you can be reimbursed after a mandatory evacuation,” he said.

Schmauch described the steps to take after a fire.

“If you do suffer a property loss make sure you take photos of all the damage before you start any cleanup or repairs,” he said. “Anything that will help the claims process so that repairs or replacement of items damaged by the fire can be completed.”

Montanans who experience losses from wildfire and have questions about their insurance policy or an issue with their insurance company should contact Rosendale’s office at 406-444-40-20, or visit their website.