Montana DNRC Prepares for Wildfire Season Amid the COVID-19 Crisis
Many of us have been surrounded by a time of uncertainty the past few months, but the goal is still the same for the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. Community Preparedness and Fire Prevention Program Manager Kristin Sleeper explains.
“It is just like any other year,” Sleeper said. “The DNRC is prepared to protect the lives of Montanans, the communities we serve, and the natural resources during the 2020 fire season. COVID-19 has not stopped us from hiring personnel or training our firefighters.”
According to Sleeper, they have made a few changes in an effort to keep their workforce as safe as possible.
“We have adjusted our onboaring process to adhere to the public health guidelines,” Sleeper said. “We have taken on additional protocols with mitigation measures to keep our workforce healthy from the start and throughout the season.”
Sleeper said everyone shares in the responsibility to reduce the risk of wildfire. She said a few simple and inexpensive actions can keep your home, family, and community safe.
“To reduce the risk of firefighter exposure, we are really redoubling our efforts to educate Montanans about how they can keep their homes and communities safe,” Sleeper said. “We are talking about things like cleaning pine needles from roofs and gutters and paying attention to maintaining clear defensible space in the home ignition zone, or one to three feet away from your structures.”
In addition, Sleeper recommends removing and relocating any items that are stored under your deck. Raking and removing pine needles and dry leaves from the area next to your home is also a good way to prevent significant wildfire damage.