Montana State University

MSU Extension offers online wildfire information and resources

July 12, 2012 -- MSU News Service

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Tel: (406) 994-4571
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BOZEMAN - To help Montanans prepare for an already busy fire season, Montana State University Extension has posted online wildfire and drought resources for both homeowners and large acreage landowners. The page can be accessed at http://www.msuextension.org/wildfire/.

"Wildfire danger is a constant worry for rural Montanans during hot, dry weather. This new website will be a one-stop source to help people find wildfire information quickly and easily", said Jeff Mosley, MSU Extension range management specialist.

The page includes a live Twitter feed (#MTfire) with up-to-date information on fire activity around the state from Montana Disaster and Emergency Services and news outlets.

Many useful articles are available on both short- and long-term preparations for dealing with wildfire, including firescaping and evacuating your pets, livestock, and home.

The page includes a downloadable evacuation brochure for all households. The electronic pamphlet, "A Citizens Guide to Evacuation Procedures," has checklists for physical evacuation plans, important items and actions to take, and a "hangtag" posting that can be left at a residence to inform emergency responders.

"We distribute the evacuation brochure in Gallatin County because it provides good up-to-date and useful information that matches up with what we do locally," said Lieutenant Jason Jarrett with the Gallatin County Sheriff's Department.

The online page has a section on recovery to help those returning home after fire damage to evaluate safety and salvageable items both inside and outside the home. There is a 60-page book "After Wildfire," to assist those rebuilding forest, ranch and farm operations. Most publications on the site can be downloaded (www.msuextension.org/store) or ordered from MSU Extension publications by calling (406) 994-3273.

Livestock producers and ranchers can work with their county MSU Extension agent and the Montana Department of Agriculture for hay information and fencing and pasture needs. Links will be included on the Extension page as they become available for a hay donation/exchange website for connecting donors with those in need.

The page will be updated with fire and drought information over the duration of the fire season.

Contact: Jeff Mosley, MSU Extension Range Management Specialist, at jmosley@montana.edu, or (406) 994-3415.