Snowy Mountain Development Corporation

 


 11/2013

Lewistown, MT----When wildfire season is at its peak and a fire is at our doorstep, we all tend to look toward federal, state, local and volunteer firefighters as well as friends and neighbors to respond to our fire-emergency needs. When these forces are available, they do a great job of responding.

But what happens when wildfires are really popping, and these resources are not available because they are already assigned to other fires?

This situation emphasizes the importance of property owners taking the first line of responsibility for making their structures as defensible from wildfire as possible. And why would we expect firefighters to put themselves in harm’s way to protect our property if we have not taken basic steps to protect our property ourselves?

Learning what we can do as property owners and implementing some of the techniques for protecting our structures from wildfire are huge contributions toward sharing the firefighting responsibility.

There are numerous small steps a property owner can take that will help make his or her place more defensible from wildfire (clean the eaves; move firewood or other combustibles away from the house; or thin nearby fuels). The Firewise Program can provide numerous additional tips to make our homes less vulnerable to wildfire.

A major emphasis of the Firewise Program is empowering homeowners to share the firefighting responsibility. Previous newspaper articles have discussed the various Firewise principles and much more information is available at www.firewise.org.

The Firewise Program is funded by a grant from the Bureau of Land Management and is managed via a partnership among Snowy Mountain Development Corporation (SMDC) and the various county conservation districts throughout the six county region served by SMDC (Fergus, Petroleum, Golden Valley, Musselshell, Judith Basin and Wheatland counties).

The Firewise Program is coordinated locally through the various county conservation district administrators.

If you would like to learn more about the Firewise Program or the fuels reduction program, visit www.firewise.org or contact Snowy Mountain Development Corporation at 535-2591, or one of these county conservation district administrators:

Fergus County, Shonny Nordlund, 538-7401, extension 101
Golden Valley and Musselshell counties, Donna Pedrazzi, 323-2103, extension 101
Judith Basin County, Teresa Wilhelms, 566-2311, extension 107
Petroleum County, Carie Hess, 429-6646.

10/2013

FIREWISE WINTER PROJECT IDEAS

The Firewise Program would like to offer a number of winter project suggestions that rural and urban homeowners can implement to make their homes and structures more defensible from wildfires.

Some of these projects can be fun, some are mostly common sense, some are suitable for younger family members to help with, and some take only an hour or so.  All of these suggestions are practical ideas that can lessen the impacts if/when a wildfire rushes your home.

Have a look at this list of Firewise ideas and select one or several as winter activities that will make your home or other structures more defensible.

• Move wood piles that are within 30 feet of your house a little further out;
• Prune mature trees to remove branches that are closer than 4 feet to the ground;
• Collect the trimmed limbs and dispose of them properly;
• Relocate items stored under decks and porches to a storage shed or garage;
• Move gasoline containers and propane tanks away from the house;
• Develop and practice a home evacuation plan;
• Include at least two different evacuation routes in your evacuation plan;
• Ensure you can see your home’s address from the street or access road;
• Plan what to do with pets or livestock in case of a wildfire emergency;
• Consider how to contact your neighbors to alert them to a pending wildfire situation (perhaps a local phone tree would work); or
• Donate a few dollars to your local volunteer fire department.

Currently it’s easier to be concerned about icy roads than wildfire emergencies, however thinking ahead and implementing a few of these Firewise ideas can better prepare you for the wildfires that will spring up next fire season.

A major emphasis of the Firewise Program is empowering homeowners to take responsibility for making their homes more defensible from wildfire.  Previous newspaper articles have discussed the various Firewise principles that can reduce the potential impacts of a wildfire and much more information is available at www.firewise.org

The Firewise Program is funded by a grant from the Bureau of Land Management and is managed via a partnership among Snowy Mountain Development Corporation (SMDC) and the various county conservation districts throughout the six county region served by SMDC (Fergus, Petroleum, Golden Valley, Musselshell, Judith Basin and Wheatland counties).

The Firewise Program is coordinated locally through the various county conservation district administrators. 

If you would like to learn more about the Firewise Program or the fuels reduction program, visit www.firewise.org or contact Snowy Mountain Development Corporation at 535-2591, or one of these county conservation district administrators:

Fergus County, Shonny Nordlund, 538-7401, extension 101
Golden Valley and Musselshell counties, Donna Pedrazzi, 323-2103, extension 101
Judith Basin County, Teresa Wilhelms, 566-2311, extension 107
Petroleum County, Carie Hess, 429-6646.

 10/03/13

The Montana Coal Bard granted Golden Valley County much needed funds for 20 new handheld radios.  Click here to read more.

 10/13/13

As the government shut-down drags on, SMDC feels the effects. Click here to read the two page article.

 


 9/2013

FIREWISE PRINCIPLES CONTRIBUTE TO COUNTY PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLANS Lewistown, MT----Every five years, the counties in central Montana update their individual pre-disaster mitigation (PDM) plans.  These plans are designed to provide a quick reference road map for reducing the impacts of natural disasters to our local communities, businesses, ranches, homeowners and residents.

The public is encouraged to participate as these plans are revised and several central Montana counties are currently updating their plans (watch for news releases to invite your participation).

These PDM plans work; they help county officials and residents respond to flooding, severe winter storms, hail, dam failure, wildfire and a variety of disasters most of us don’t think much about until we have to deal with them.    Having a current PDM plan also qualifies a county to receive hazard mitigation funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

One thing just about every PDM plan in Montana has in common is emphasizing the importance of homeowners reducing the amount of fire fuels around their homes and out buildings.

  A major emphasis of the Firewise Program is empowering homeowners to take responsibility for making their homes more defensible from wildfire.  Previous newspaper articles have discussed the various Firewise principles that can reduce the potential impacts of a wildfire and much more information is available at www.firewise.org.

The Firewise Program is funded by a grant from the Bureau of Land Management and is managed via a partnership among Snowy Mountain Development Corporation (SMDC) and the various county conservation districts throughout the six county region served by SMDC (Fergus, Petroleum, Golden Valley, Musselshell, Judith Basin and Wheatland counties).

The Firewise Program is coordinated locally through the various county conservation district administrators. 

If you would like to learn more about the Firewise Program or the fuels reduction program, visit www.firewise.org or contact Snowy Mountain Development Corporation at 535-2591, or one of these county conservation district administrators:

Fergus County, Shonny Nordlund, 538-7401, extension 101

Golden Valley and Musselshell counties, Donna Pedrazzi, 323-2103, extension 101

Judith Basin County, Teresa Wilhelms, 566-2311, extension 107

Petroleum County, Carie Hess, 429-6646.

 1/29/13

A Visitor Assessment was conducted of the Lewistown area.  Click here to read more.

Snowy Mountain Development Corporation :: 613 N.E. Main Street, Lewistown, Montana 59457
406-535-2591 :: smdckaren@midrivers.com
Copyright© 2001-2014 SMDC All Rights Reserved :: Website developed by Westwind Web Solutions