MISSOULA, Mont. - This 4th of July weekend is expected to heat up, some may be tempted to start a campfire as you head outdoors. However, with moderate fire danger in Missoula County, fire officials are on alert.
As some fires could grow on us, fire officials are reminding us of three things.
Before you start a campfire clear the area, water and shovel dirt into the once you're done, and if it's too hot to touch it's too hot to leave.
Lolo National Forest, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC), and Missoula Rural fire want to reiterate as our public lands are in moderate fire danger, for our campfires this means grass, dead leaves, and weather changes can spark and spread quickly if not contained nor put out appropriately. Which can turn a little campfire into a bigger wildfire, something we never want to happen.
"The consequences are if the material inside that is still burning can potentially re-ignite and keep going and with the winds get up and escape the campfire ring and potentially start a wildfire,” said Lolo Ntl. Forest, fire prevention and education specialist Anna Henderson.
"It's not just in public land it's also in your backyard, people have pine trees in their yard, they have leaves and trees in their yards they have grass and so there everywhere where you might have a campfire,” said Deputy Fire Marshall Dodd McDermott with Missoula Rural Fire.
"80 percent of wildfires in Montana are human-caused and campfires are a top cause of those wildfires so it's all really important we do our part to prevent a wildfire from starting,” said Kristin Mortenson, community preparedness and fire prevention with DNRC.
Additionally, although there are no restrictions on campfires for the 4th of July. Keep in mind fireworks are always prohibited on national forest lands.
Be sure to check current conditions before you start any fire and for the latest fire restrictions head to mtfireinfo.org