BIA Crow firefighters are asking our communities to help prevent wildfires around the July 4th vacation, often our busiest weekend of the year.
The Crow Tribe on Monday evening (June 28) issued “Phase 1” fire restrictions similar to those already in place for the summer in Big Horn and Yellowstone counties and neighboring National Forests.
These restrictions prohibit open fires or campfires, except for cultural or agricultural uses that require and are licensed.
The grass is at a tipping point.
Still slightly green, it wasn’t burning fast, but with this hot week, the fires are suddenly going to spread much faster than they did this spring.
Fireworks are not prohibited, but they can cause dangerous and costly forest fires, especially in this hot week.
Fireworks also spit poisons into the air and grass, and burn people every year.
Any fireworks display on trust land (tribal members) or pay land (non-tribal) may result in the quotation and billing of the cost of extinguishing the fires to the person who started it.
Even small fireworks like sparklers and poppers can start a fire.
With drought and heat, a small spark can grow several acres in a matter of minutes. âWe started with mountain fires here this year, which means the land is very dry,â said Randy Pretty On Top, fuels specialist. “Once the grass is brown, we can get very busy.”
“We ask everyone to be extremely vigilant and take safety measures to prevent man-made forest fires,” said Lee Old Bear, prevention specialist. To reduce the risk:
Â· Campfires and open fires are now prohibited on the Reservation by Crow Tribe and Big Horn County “Stage 1” fire restrictions except for cultural or agricultural uses which call ahead and obtain a burning permit at 638-2247. Propane stoves are permitted.
Â· Alone careful adults should already touch fireworks. Keep adults, plenty of water, and a shovel nearby. Use them only where no grass could catch a spark.
Â· Avoid driving and parking in tall grass. Hot exhaust pipes and catalytic converters can start grass fires in seconds. Maintain the correct tire pressure. Driving on rims can cause sparks.
Â· Secure chains on trailers or equipment. Sparks from drag chains set off grass fires. Carry a shovel, a few gallons of water, and a fire extinguisher in your car all summer.
Â· Mow around houses when it is cool. Remove any tall grass from your garden.
Â· Smoking should only be done in a closed vehicle or on dirt or sidewalks, never on grass. Use an ashtray!
“Our fire danger has already reached a very high level,” said Tracy Spang, acting fire management manager. âIt is essential to respect the fire – stop it before it starts. ”
Even with the rain last week, our grass and wood is still drier than average for July 1, closer to late July or August conditions.
High temperatures reach 100 degrees Thursday through Saturday and continue in the 90 degree range the week after July 4.
âJuly 4th is a popular weekend to get outside,â said Old Bear. âWe want everyone to have a happy, healthy and safe holiday weekend. It starts with helping all of us. Call 911 when you see someone who is not safe with the fire.