DILLON – Officials with the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest recently reported a number of abandoned campfires have been found throughout the forest. While none of the fires grew, they are a concern, officials said.

Even though it’s been a mild year so far for wildfires, people should not become complacent when using fire outdoors – it only takes one spark or ember to start a wildfire in southwest Montana.

Forest Service officials offer these tips for anyone spending time in the outdoors:

• NEVER walk away from a smoldering campfire, whether in a campground or elsewhere.

• ALWAYS make sure a fire is dead out. Mix water, earth and embers, and stir them until they’re cool enough to hold in your bare hand.

• Fireworks are not allowed in national forests.

• Be careful where you park: Catalytic converters can start fires on dry leaves, grass or needles under vehicles.

• Remember to bring along a shovel and bucket when you travel outdoors.

For more information, call the Forest Service in Dillon, Butte, Whitehall, Ennis, Sheridan, Wisdom, Wise River, Philipsburg, or Deerlodge, or visit