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Butte Field Office
Release Date: 06/18/09
Contacts: David Abrams , 406-533-7617  

Forest Service, BLM Prepare For Upcoming Fire Season

As the Montana wildfire season approaches, the Bureau of Land Management’s Butte Field Office and the U.S. Forest Service’s Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest remind visitors to be extra careful when enjoying the public lands of southwest Montana.

June 21-27 is designated as Wildfire Awareness Week and this is a great opportunity for homeowners to start those clean-up tasks around the home including: cleaning out gutters, mowing long grass around the home, and stacking firewood away from the home. Reducing fuels around your house or cabin helps firefighters keep the flames away from the structure and improve the survivability of homes and protect your personal safety. 

According to the National Fire Interagency Center’s fire seasonal outlook, significant fire potential is expected to be normal in southwest Montana. May was generally drier than normal across most of the Northern Rockies and cooler than normal weather kept mountain snowpack at normal to above-normal levels as of late May. The exception is the northern Idaho Panhandle and northwest Montana showing signs of dryness with the potential for an extended fire season this year due to projected warm and dry conditions.

Southwest Montana firefighters work together in actively managing fires to protect people and property and enhance the diversity and health of the landscapes. Cooperatively the interagency firefighting forces safely and effectively coordinate initial attack to new fires. To do so effectively, fire managers will take the following criteria into consideration:

  • Threat to life, property or public/firefighter safety
  • Effects to cultural/natural resources
  • Unacceptable risks
  • Local terrain, fuel, and weather conditions
  • Local agency land-management plans and community fire plans
  • Chances of success compared to costs and risks of various management strategies
  • Quantity of firefighting resources available locally, statewide, and nationally.

Public and firefighter safety is always the first concern and priority. Fire managers determine on a case-by-case basis the strategies and tactics to safely and effectively put firefighters or equipment to work on the fireline.

We can all work together and do our part individually to move the wildlife habitat and vegetation of southwest Montana toward a revitalized and sustainable fire-adapted ecosystem benefiting people and wildlife for the future.

NOTE TO MEDIA: The Forest Service and BLM will host a Fire Season Refresher for local news media on June 24, 9-11 a.m., at the BLM’s Butte Field Office, 106 N. Parkmont in Butte. Topics of discussion include: fire season outlook, local preparedness, new implementation strategy for federal fire policy, and procedures for news media to get information about active wildfires. Please RSVP to David Abrams at so that we can get an accurate count of who plans to attend. 

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.

Butte Field Office   106 N. Parkmont      Butte, MT 59702   

Last updated: 06-28-2012