FireSafe Montana

About FireSafe Montana

FireSafe Montana is a private, non-profit organization coordinating and supporting a statewide coalition of diverse interests working together to help Montanans make their homes, neighborhoods, and communities fire safe.

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Enough is Enough Summit: May 19th

Enough is Enough Summit May 19th in Missoula MT

May 19th 3-5 Open Forum open to the public:

The loss of 19 firefighters in Yarnell, AZ is a poignant event in our recent history. It has caused many of us in the public and private sector to stop and ask ourselves; what can we do to improve the safety of wildland firefighters and the effectiveness of firefighting? Join FireSafe Montana and our collaborators to discuss Montana’s process to create a cohesive message and approach to keep firefighters safe and increase fire suppression effectiveness in the WUI.

Please call Jennifer LaManna for questions at 406-431-8718 or email her at [email protected]

Firewise Landscaping, planning NOW for the 2014 fire season

Click here for a downloadable version

While most homeowners are aware of planning for fire prevention when building or purchasing a home, there is another important aspect that should be considered.  This is the outside landscaping.

Beautiful landscapes can be created that also limit the damage from fires.  One way to do this is to incorporate hardscapes.  These are the hard structures that surround the outside of a home.  Many elegant patios, walkways, walls, and borders can be constructed to add both visual appeal and increase the outdoor living space of your home.  All of these landscape creations have very low percentage of burning.  Hardscapes also help to prevent the spread of fires to other parts of your property and home because they are made out of fire blocking materials such as natural rock, cement, and concrete.  If any of your hardscapes include barbeques or fire pits, make sure they have a proper cover on them to prevent free flowing embers.

Native plants also have many uses in developing a firewise landscape.  Since they are indigenous to the region, they thrive in naturally occurring outside elements.  Weather conditions, insects, and diseases usually have minimal negative effects on native plants.   Healthy plants tend to be more vigorous in their ability to ward off fires, than plants that are already weak and dry.  When choosing which plants to place at a property, there are some necessary characteristics to consider.  These include such items as; how much water the plant requires to stay healthy, how fast and dense the plant grows, and how much leaf, needle, and plant debris will be created.  It is best to choose plants that require less water, have a more open structure, and shed minimal debris that could add more fuel to the fires.

After hardscapes and native plants are installed, it is important to properly maintain your landscape.  When possible, keep an area around your home (most commonly suggested is 100 feet), free of any items.  Early Spring, is a good time for pruning, while plants are dormant before they start opening their buds and pushing new growth.  In Summer, make sure any lawn and planted areas receive proper additional water, as this time of year tends to be dry.  Spring and Fall are the best time for doing more planting, as the roots will continue to grow even as the above ground plant growth is slow.  Plants are able to take advantage of the extra moisture the weather conditions usually bring.  Just be sure to rake and remove any fallen leaves, needles, and overall debris.

Natures Enhancement has chosen to partner with FireSafe Montana and help spread the firewise/firesafe message simply because “we care”.  It is upsetting when a beautiful landscape is burned to the ground.  This affects values of homes, use of outdoor living space, and enjoyment by homeowners and other wildlife habitat that are dependent upon safe landscapes to survive.

With proper preparation though FireSafe Montana and its partners, we can all help to alleviate fire destruction to homes and properties.

Pictures shown highlight some of the firewise concepts discussed in this article.  Additional information including a list of available native plants and more landscape design concepts can be found at naturesenhancementinc.com.   More information on the Enough is Enough campaign and more resources to help get you ready for the fire season go to firesafemt.org.

Julie Monk is Vice President of Marketing for Nature’s Enhancement Inc., a full service landscape and plant nursery in the Bitterroot Valley, Montana.

 

 

The Possible Adoption of the WUI Code: What does that actually mean for Montana?

“Montana fire organizations and agencies are dedicated to the vital role of public education and awareness programs to address the escalating wildland fire situation. Becoming informed on what the adoption of a WUI code could have on WUI fire mitigation is critical and strategically complements the existing WUI fire prevention programs. It is never too early to start addressing solutions to a situation that only continues to put human lives at risk and comes with a hefty price tag.”  (Bruce Suenram, MT DNRC) Click here to read more »

Two Great Men in Wildfire Prevention and Preparedness were lost this year

Dave Larsen of Helena, Montana and Curtiss Matt of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai have moved on from this world.   Both men have made lasting impacts to their communities, respective fields, and on FireSafe Montana.  Attached are two great tributes to Dave and Curtiss.

Tribute to Dave Larsen

Tribute to Curtiss Matt

Save the Date: FireSafe Montana’s Annual Meeting May 20th

Save the Date

FireSafe Montana’s 2014 Annual Meeting

Date: May 20th, 2014

Time: 9am- 12:30pm

Location: MT DNRC FORESTRY DIVISION
2705 Spurgin Road.  Missoula, MT 59804
In the Clark Fork Room.
We look forward to seeing you! If you have any questions please email Jennifer LaManna at [email protected] or call 406-431-8718.

Save the Date: FireSafe Montana Annual Meeting – http://eepurl.com/PQ0Kj