Fall is coming. Many see and feel fall emerging with eagerness through the smokey haze that has persisted for months over the Montana skies. It seems like the overwhelming favorite season among Montanans. Trees are slowly changing colors; nights are getting cooler, school is back in session, hunting season is coming, football, and any last-minute projects that need doing before winter - life is busy! Yet, somewhere during the school drop-offs, longer lines at the coffee shops for the seasonal pumpkin spice fix, and the sudden abundance of sweaters on sale, life seems to slowly slide into anticipation of a coming hibernation.
However, with the slowdown of the daily grind, it is essential to remember the value of preparedness for the unexpected. Although our minds are moving toward autumn and even winter, now is not the time to forget fire safety. The smoke in the sky is a daily reminder anymore that the wildfire season is not over. Historically, late summer/early fall is the time to increase our vigilance to guard against wildfire. Some of the most famous and destructive fires in recorded history have happened during this time of the year.
For example, on September 8th, during the legendary Yellowstone Fire of 1988, officials decided for the first time to close the entire national park to non-emergency traffic due to its size and how quickly the fire had grown in recent days. The fire grew tremendously over the following two days, jumped fire lines, and swiftly threatened the Mammoth Hot Springs area. That year, just as this one, the North Rockies were experiencing a significant drought. The drought during the summer of 1988 happened to be the worst in the park's 116-year history to date. Comparatively, today the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is facing a similar drought. PlantMaps, which monitors hardiness zones for gardening and climate changes, currently lists the Gallatin area as experiencing "Exceptional Drought" - the driest score a region can obtain on their scale.
Firebreak Management wants you to enjoy the seasonal changes that we all anticipate for this time of year. Enjoy the pumpkin spice. Enjoy the renewed football rivalries. Enjoy the morning rush of getting the kids to school on time. But we would also like to remind you of the importance of not letting your guard down to the ongoing wildfire season. With forecasted temperatures in the 80s and 90s, winds, and even a thunderstorm in the upcoming few days, now is a good time to call for an evaluation of your property and see how we can help protect your home from wildfire.