HELENA – Wildfire season is right around the corner and the need for volunteer firefighters is on the rise.
According to John Tubbs, the Director of the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, the volunteer shortage isn’t just affecting Montana but nationwide.
Tubbs said this is an issue that affects more rural communities. Tubbs mentioned the state of Montana has put a lot of effort into finding agreements across state and border lines with federal agencies, so when the state gets into a bad situation and the preparedness level goes way up, they are able to draw from their partners. With the national shortage, he said it becomes super difficult when everyone is in stress.
“In history there has tended to be seasons in the Southeast, Southwest, Northwest, Alaska, Canada that are kind of in sequence. But more and more we are seeing that areas that should have shut down are still burning and yet we’re starting to peak in Montana. And when we go to our partners some of them are not available because they need to stay home and fight fires in their own communities,” Tubbs said.
Tubbs went onto say it's not too late to contact your local volunteer fire department if you are interested in volunteering.