Recently, the Poverty Flats Fire has burned more than 65,000 acres of grass, sage and timber. Montana’s beautiful summers come with the increased incidence of wildfires. MDT doesn’t often close roads, but when the safety of the traveling public is in question, traffic is detoured to an alternate route. Conditions can change quickly; for the most current information on road closures and emergency travel due to Montana wildfires, watch the Incidents/Closures Report from the state’s website.
With record heat and a wildfire season that in western Montana is 75-80 days long, it can be difficult to keep track of every fire event. Climate Smart Missoula has resources to know where wildfires are burning, where the smoke is trending, and to find trails to hike on during fire season. And if you live in a fire prone area, sign up for fire alerts from smart911.
Almost $20 million of around $105 million available has been spent on fire prevention out of the state’s fire fund since the beginning of the fiscal year in July. Learn how to make your personal property more “fire wise”.
No home is fireproof, but by taking precautions, you can make your home and property more resistant to wildfire:
According to readyforwildfire.org, an important step in reducing wildfire risk to your home is the creation of defensible space zones. Think of defensible space zones as a layer of protection between your house and the approaching wildfire. The immediate zone is closest to your house and the most vulnerable and should be most aggressively maintained for fire resistance. Remove any combustible materials: outdoor furniture, lumber, trash, leaves, needles, branches. No vegetation is recommended within five feet of structures. Use only inorganic, non-combustible mulches such as stone or gravel.
The Intermediate Zone extends five to thirty feet from the home and may include buildings, structures, decks, etc. Keep this area “Lean, Clean, and Green.” Remove vegetation and items that could catch fire from around and under decks.
The Extended Zone may even include space more than 100 feet away if required by steep slopes, nearby vegetation conditions, and/or your local fire department. Cut or mow annual grass down to a maximum height of four inches.
After a fire in your home, your best chance to save your valuable possessions and restore your peace of mind is to take immediate action. First call the trusted Five Valley crew of professional fire damage cleanup technicians. Then call the insurance agent. While you are starting the insurance claim paperwork , Five Valley will drop everything and rush to you. When it comes to restoring your home, every second counts.
A family run company, they smooth out the bumps in an uncomfortable (and potentially dangerous) situation. They take care of every detail: initial cleanup, take down, final repair. Make the call to your Five Valleys team now for more information about all the services available in Missoula.