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Fire managers urge caution during Fourth of July

| July 3, 2024 1:00 AM

As the Fourth of July approaches, interagency fire officials remind Montanans and visitors to celebrate safely and be aware of fire danger across the state.  

While spring precipitation reduced fire risk, weather forecasts for the holiday include hot temperatures and an incoming front with potential wind.  

Last year, 84% percent of fires in the Flathead Valley were human caused. Interagency Fire Managers encourage individuals to do their part to keep homes, communities and firefighters safe.

Obey all fireworks restrictions. Fireworks are prohibited on all federal, state and county public lands. The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public, community-sponsored display. 

Use extreme caution when using personal fireworks and light them in an area clear of grass and other fuels. Light them one at a time and move away quickly.  

Individuals should avoid forested areas when lighting fireworks due to potential fire spread.  

Once fireworks are done burning, douse them in water and make sure they are cool to the touch before putting them in the trash.  

Keep water and safety equipment on hand in case of a fire start from a firework.  

Call for help if a fire starts to escape your control.  

In addition to fireworks safety, agencies urge everyone to tend to their recreational campfires, ensuring none are left unattended, keeping flammable materials away from open flames and carrying a shovel and bucket to fully extinguish the fire before leaving the area. Additionally, debris burning is not allowed for the months of July, August or September in Flathead or Lake counties.