Fire officials give tips on limiting human-caused fires this yea - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Fire officials give tips on limiting human-caused fires this year

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KALISPELL -

People all across the state are preparing for the worst fire conditions we've seen all year.

Stage Two fire restrictions go in place across much of the state Friday, and fire crews in Northwest Montana are asking people to help them out.

Weather conditions are getting hotter and drier. In fact, forest and fire officials are trying to spread a word of caution this wildfire season. 

With several days without rain or really any moisture, most of the state finds itself in some sort of fire danger.

"In terms of landscape scale, it’s been about 35 days since we had any significant rain, wetting rain,” said Wyatt Frampton, DNRC Fire Management Officer.

While many fires are started by lightning, fire crews want to make sure people aren't adding to their workload this year.

They ask you to make sure campfires are out, check trailer chains and car tires and keep cigarettes inside. That includes keeping them inside your car window. 

"One thing in the morning, when it's nine o'clock and you know, the dew is still out there and temperatures are cool. But what we get in the afternoons it starts getting above 80-90 degrees. The winds start coming up. Should you be mowing the lawn then? Should you be working on that fence? But think what you're doing and what time of day,” said Manny Mendoza, District FMO Tally Lake, Flathead National Forest.

Unlike naturally caused fires from lightning storms, human-caused fires can be tricky for fire crews.

"Whereas human caused ignitions, there are no warnings, no notice and we are in very reactive mode instead of being able to be proactive,” said Frampton.

Crews with the DNRC say they have plenty of gear on hand to fight wildfires but they're hoping they don't have to use it,

"We got about 12 helicopters in the zone that range from a type one or very large helicopter down to a smaller helicopter that's primarily for delivering people or supplies to fires. The state of Montana has brought down two CL-215s, commonly known as super scoopers. And those will be stationed out at Glacier International Airport,” said Frampton.

Flathead National Forest has sent people to other states to fight raging fires there. They say they're ready to bring back firefighters if Montana needs their help.

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