Consequences of starting a wildland fire can be costly - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Consequences of starting a wildland fire can be costly

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

With heat comes the potential to cause wildfires, especially during the summer season. We want to remind you to be extra careful when you're out in the dry weather.


According to an incident management situation report from the National Interagency Coordination Center, there have been 532 fires in the Northern Rockies area with over 2,400 acres burned so far this year.


Al Nash is the chief of communications for the Montana-Dakotas State Office of the Bureau of Land Management and said the BLM sees the greatest fire activity during the summer months, especially during the months of July and August. He said people think that most fire activity is located in the mountainous regions, but this part of the country can and does see wildland fires. He also said if the  fires are caused by humans, there are a variety of penalties that can be imposed.


"If you are found to have negligently or purposefully started a wildfire, there can be both criminal and civil penalties," Nash said. "It also means that you might be submitted a  rather large bill to cover the costs of fighting the fire."


Nash said the costs can be up to hundreds of thousands of dollars a day. Last year alone, federal firefighting costs came up to about two billion dollars nationally. Nash said the smartest thing to do is to be careful when you're out in dry conditions. When you're outside, Nash said to be aware of your surroundings and understand that from now until snow falls, you can be in an area where vegetation might be dry enough to catch fire.

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