Hunting season is rapidly approaching and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks are asking hunters to be prepared before they head out this year. FWP Spokeswoman Vivaca Crowser says it is important for hunters to be aware of surrounding wildfires.

“It is really going to require us to take extra caution out there and then also to be aware of some of the areas that are closed or have road restrictions,” said Crowser. “What it does is really put the hunters in a position before you head out to make sure you check any of those restrictions and closures and just be extra careful out there. With more people out and about, that increases the risk of more fire starts and that is certainly not something that we need to see right now.”

Crowser also urges folks to stay away from any exposed grass and to not park any vehicles on grass.

“Those things can really be dangerous in these dry conditions and it is often something that we won’t think about as a fire hazard,” Crowser said. “It is a good idea to carry some water with you, like a water filled weed sprayer for example. Just something you have that you can repurpose at home so that if there is a little fire start, you can take care of it right away.”

Hunting season kicks off Friday, September 1st with the upland game bird season opener and archery season starts September 2nd. Big game general rifle season doesn’t open until the end of October.

Here is a list of fire safety precautions that hunters are being asked to follow:

Park your vehicle on bare ground or ground completely void of tall grass.

Drive only on established roads.

After you leave an area, wait for few minutes to make sure that a fire has not started where your vehicle was parked.

Bring along a fire extinguisher or water-filled weed sprayer, shovel or axe.

Camp only in designated camping areas.

Smoke only inside buildings or vehicles.

Check on any fire restrictions in place in the area where you are hunting.

Consider limiting activity until fire danger lessens.