Partner Resources

Wildfire Awareness Month - May 2019


Background
While wildfires can occur at any time of the year, the majority of wildfires in Montana occur between May and September of each year.

May is an ideal time to promote wildfire awareness in Montana so that residents and visitors can begin to reduce wildfire risk to their properties and communities through hazardous fuels reduction, incorporation of fire resistant building materials, and upkeep around their properties to maintain the wildfire risk reduction actions they have done previously.

May is designated Wildfire Awareness Month in Montana and is part of a multi-state campaign to encourage individuals and communities to prepare for wildfire season.

Further, Saturday, May 4 is designated as Wildfire Community Preparedness Day. This national event promotes actions that positively contribute to reducing community wildfire risk and encourages communities around the country to dedicate a few hours or an entire day to participate in wildfire risk reduction activities.


Purpose
The purpose of Wildfire Awareness Month is to raise awareness about the importance of community preparedness and educate homeowners on what wildfire risk reduction actions they can take before wildfires start.

Residents who live in or near wildfire prone landscapes can lower their risk through their preparedness efforts. Proactive actions contribute to a safer community when wildfires happen.


Objective
To provide wildfire preparedness information and resources to  Montana residents, communities, the media and our partners.


Key Messages

  • Preparedness is a shared responsibility and we all have a role.
    • Organize a community wildfire preparedness event or activity
    • Visit www.keepgreen.org to see what events are happening near you or to find out how to plan an event in your community.
  • Residents living in areas at risk from wildfire can make a difference.
    • Keep the home ignition zone (30 feet around structure) clear of dense vegetation.
    • Clean out gutters, roofs and other areas where a spark could ignite.
    • Use ignition resistant building materials when building or remodeling your home.
    • Create and practice your evacuation route with your family.
    • Become a champion for wildfire safety in your community by encouraging others to take action.
    • Working with neighbors in your community to reduce wildfire risk benefits the entire community.


Statewide Delivery Methods
The statewide WAM campaign will:

  • Post social media messages (Keep Montana Green and MT DNRC Facebook & Twitter) weekly during May.
  • Distribute a statewide press release the week of April 29th.


Social Media
National Fire Protection Association sample social media messages and banner
U.S. Fire Administration social media and campaign banners
One Less Spark campaign banners


Hashtags to use to promote Wildfire Awareness Month:
#WildfirePrepDay , #FireAdapted, #WildfireAwarenessMonth


Public Service Announcements:


1. It’s Montana’s Wildfire Awareness Month! Is your home and family prepared?  Take action and prepare now for this year’s wildfire season. Remove needles and leaves from your gutters, around your homes foundation, and under decks.  Remove lower branches from your trees.  Make and rehearse your evacuation plan with your family.  To find a Wildfire Awareness event near you visit keepgreen.org


2. It’s Wildfire Awareness Month in Montana!  Are you and your home ready? Do you have trees and shrubs touching your home or wood chips surrounding your home?  Consider trimming shrubs and trees so they are at least 3 feet from your home and replacing flammable landscape material with nonflammable options like gravel or stones. For more wildfire safe landscaping ideas go to Firewise.org.


3. It’s Wildfire Awareness Month!  Are you prepared?  Wildfires can be unpredictable and move fast. You may have to evacuate your home quickly. Does your family have an evacuation plan?  Have at least 2 evacuation routes and make a grab and go bag with important family documents, medications, and other essential items.  For more information on useful items to include visit www.ready.mt.gov.


Press Release:

PREPARE, PREVENT, PROTECT!
All residents throughout Montana are encouraged to participate in Wildfire Awareness Month this May. The purpose is to raise awareness about community preparedness and what risk reduction steps you can take to prepare your family and property.

Residents in areas with a potential for wildfires can lower their risk through their preparedness efforts. Proactive actions from a single individual, or entire neighborhood, contribute to a safer community when wildfires happen.

Become a local champion through committing a couple of hours or an entire day to improving your property’s defensibility and resiliency; and contributing toward your community becoming more fire adapted.

Here are a few ways to prevent and prepare for wildfires:

  • Clean out gutters, roofs and other areas where debris has settled
  • Avoid burning on windy days and never leave a burn pile unattended
  • Create an evacuation plan and practice the route with family members
  • Keep the space around your home, known as the home ignition zone, clear of dense vegetation
  • Take action in your community by organizing a wildfire preparedness event


Preparedness is a shared responsibility and we all have a role. Visit www.keepgreen.org to see what events are happening near you or to find out how to plan an event in your community.

Contact: Ashley Juran, DNRC, 406-542-4251, ashley.juran@mt.gov