Prepping for Wildfire Season - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Prepping for Wildfire Season

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BILLINGS -

The federal government is gearing up for wildfire season. On Monday, leaders from the Department of Agriculture warned it's going to be a difficult fire season and plan to see blazes of significant size. Also, they want everyone to be vigilant and say that fire is everyone's fight.

The government already positioned 13,000 firefighters and equipment to strategic locations to try to respond quickly to hot spots. But with little rain and budget cuts, it could be a tougher season.

"Out west we have severe drought conditions that have been in place for some time now and very little precipitation has occurred since beginning of 2013," says wildfire analyst Jeremy Sullens.

"As a result of sequester and across the board cuts that have been applied, we'll have about 500 fewer firefighters. Nevertheless, we are going to work hard to make sure the job gets done protecting people and property in that order and making sure our firefighters are safe," says Tom Vilsack, US Agriculture Secretary.

Fire leaders suggest people try to create a buffer zone between their homes or businesses and the forest. They say this will help protect property and slow down wildfires.

The Yellowstone County Emergency and General Service Director says there is a open burn ban for Monday and Tuesday. He says with all the dry conditions along with near record temperatures and high winds it could spark a fire.

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