By Leonora Willett EDITORIAL INTERN
BIG SKY – The Big Sky Farmers Market will host a wildfire safety themed market on June 22 to engage with locals and visitors to spread awareness about wildfires and public safety information.
Big Sky Fire Department and Big Sky Rotary Club worked in partnership with the Town Center to plan the special market and offer various activities and informational signage. The market will include many family-friendly activities, such as a firewood scavenger hunt, an ember toss and tours of fire trucks. Visitors will also learn how to build and extinguish a campfire correctly at the Town Center fire pit.
Crystal Beckman, the community risk reduction coordinator for BSFD, emphasized the importance of wildfire preparation and awareness as fire season approaches.
“We’re really hearing from the community organizations, [the] Chamber, resort tax, and others in the area they’re concerned about wildfires…” she said. Beckman added that community members want to know what the evacuation plan is in the event of a wildfire and where they should go.
Last year, with fires near Big Sky, community members were uncertain of evacuation procedures and plans, according to Beckman.
“The fire department is leading [the effort] to bring together a community coordination group around becoming more fire adapted in Big Sky and preparing to be more resilient,” Beckman said.
The Fire Adapted Big Sky group was recently founded after Big Sky was chosen to be a part of the national Community Wildfire Planning Assistance Program.
Kelsey Rossier, the chair for local outreach at the Rotary Club of Big Sky, said this market is an important part of preparing the Big Sky community for wildfire.
“We really wanted to partner with the fire department to bring more awareness of wildfire safety in our community,” she said. “We felt that a lot of folks weren’t really familiar with what to do when a wildfire does take place in town.”
Community members can prepare for fire season by signing up for emergency notifications from Gallatin County, removing extra tree branches surrounding homes, and removing dead vegetation from underneath decks among many other preventative actions.
Other community partners for the event include Big Sky Sustainability Network Organization, Town Center, Gallatin River Task Force, Big Sky Owners Association, Big Sky Chamber of Commerce, Big Sky Community Organization and the Gallatin Invasive Species Alliance.