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Starting small fires is illegal, dangerous

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News from CSKT Division of Fire

RONAN – Tribal Forestry’s Division of Fire needs to warn reservation residents and visitors about the dangers of igniting fires in forested lands. The DOF has had a number of suspicious starts in the last couple weeks and would like the public to be on the lookout for suspected arsonists and any other suspicious acts on public lands. Unattended campfires and other small starts from carelessness have also been a problem and may easily spread and spark much larger fires that could damage natural resources and cause extensive and expensive damage to buildings and structures.

The Flathead Indian Reservation is currently in “extreme” fire danger. Please do your part to ensure there is “one less spark” as a result of your outdoor activities in the heat of the afternoon. Be cognizant of: mowing tall grass where the blade can strike a rock, safety chains sparking on the road while towing a trailer, having a spark arrester in your equipment’s exhaust system in grassy areas.

If a small fire becomes a full-blown forest fire, it could lead to arson charges, fines and even the bill for all fire-caused costs. 

Tremendous effort goes into preventive programs and information campaigns. Division of Fire officials continually fine tune their surveillance methods with cameras, patrols, and random reports provided by the general public. With the support of the sheriff’s department, police force, and all law officials on the reservation, efforts are being made to stop the very serious matter of human caused fires during this present time of extreme fire danger. 

If you witness anyone setting fires or abandoning campfires please contact your local police or call 1-800-47-ARSON. It’s an anonymous call and your identity will remain confidential. You may also go online to Rewards go up to $10,000. Let’s work together to keep our wild land areas safe and protected.

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