Spring is in the air and many are looking forward to nicer days, but as the weather gets warmer the risk of fire will soon follow.
“The season is definitely here, we're always training, we are always trying to learn,” says Jake Zlomie, Interim Fire Marshall for the Central Valley Fire District (CVFD).
CVFD hosted recruits from three agencies in Gallatin County for wildland fire training on Wednesday.
“We are starting to see those wildland calls come in, we have some areas that are more susceptible to wildland risk,” said Zlomie.
The area is below average in precipitation. We should be sitting at 2.09 inches of precipitation but currently, we sit at 1.39 inches for the season so far.
“So far this season it's definitely starting off to be pretty busy,” Zlomie said.
The drought has remained persistent across the state. In December most of southwestern Montana was under extreme or exceptional drought. In the last three months, those conditions have slightly improved but most of the area remains under severe or exceptional drought as of last week.
“Anything that we can do to mitigate and minimize that risk to fire,” said Zlomie.
Zlomie gave some advice for those with burn permits.
“If you are going to burn we want you to burn safely,” he said. “Be mindful of the conditions around you, you know, if it gets really windy, there is always tomorrow.”
Those closer to the foothills where more danger exists should take some extra precautions, according to Zlomie.
“Taking care of the fuels and the different things around your house that can burn,” Zlomie said. “Get us a clear address, so that if you do need to get help we can find you as quickly as we can."
As they head into the summer, they are preparing for a busy season but also hoping that wildfires stay at bay.
“We are always training to prepare for that; we're also working with other agencies throughout the valley as well as the state to coordinate those resources ahead of time,” Zlomie said.