By Marianne Baumberger U.S. Forest Service

Most folks consider how their activities could start a wildfire. Do you? Here’s a checklist to think about, and how these factors can affect what’s known as the fire triangle.

-Is the guard chain on your trailer secure so it doesn’t create sparks that ignite grass along the highway?
-Do you always drown and stir your campfire until it’s cool to the touch so the wind can’t throw a spark onto vegetation?
-Do you place your campfire away from brush, grass and overhanging branches?
-Do you keep your vehicle off dry grass?
-Have you maintained your chainsaw or other motorized equipment and is the spark arrestor working properly? Stop and think about how you can prevent the next wildfire.

Fire_triangleMany of us learned about the fire triangle in science class. The combination of heat, oxygen and fuel creates combustion. Please think about your actions and if they could create a heat source that might start a wildfire in dry vegetation.

As of EBS press time on July 23, our fire danger remains MODERATE in the mountains and National Forest land around Bozeman, Big Sky and West Yellowstone; however, the grass in lower elevation private lands in Gallatin County is dry and extra caution should be used in these areas.