The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Michelle Bigelbach
The Courier 

Preventative Measures in Place at the Pines


With the continued dry conditions and lack of rain, the Fort Peck Pines Recreational Area is seeing an increase in local, state and federal firefighters being dispatched to remove the overabundance of vegetation. For the second year in a row, volunteers are using chainsaws, mowers and wood chippers to reduce the risk of wildfires in the area. Crews and engines are also being pre-positioned in areas of high concern to assist if a wildfire does ignite.

While crews are in the area, they are taking full advantage, helping their community reduce the risk to wildfires. Not only will this assist the public, it will also make a safer area for crews to work if a wildfire does occur.

During this hazardous fuel mitigation effort, crews assess homes and discuss the best vegetation treatment options with homeowners. The “Ready, Set, Go” principles are also discussed, which allows homeowners to be “Ready” prior to wildfire season, be “Set” during fire season and “Go,” when it becomes time to obey evacuation instructions and warnings so as to leave early if a wildfire does occur.

This project began in 2015 with extensive planning and coordination among local, state, and federal agencies. Fire Warden Dan Carney and Long Run Fire Department Chief Bob Hanson were instrumental in starting this clean-up and prevention effort. Last June, over 20 interagency firefighters worked in the Pines Recreation Area for nearly a week, removing pounds of pine needles and trimed trees adjacent to structures.

“We want the public to know that we are not just sitting around, waiting for the next fire,” said Heath Gerber with MT Dept. of Natural Resources and Conservation. “Our interagency crews are completing critical risk reduction work in the Pines to lessen the impact of future wildfires, while still keeping our firefighters available to appropriately respond to new wildfire starts in the area.”

This collaborative effort is spearheaded by Montana Department of Natural Resource and conservation fire managers as well as Bureau of Land Management, Long Run Fire Department, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services.

For more information and to learn how to get involved, contact Bob Hanson at 406-263-8625.


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