Yellowstone County, Montana
Disaster & Emergency Services
Preparation Tips: Wildland Fires Contact Department

More and more people are making their homes in woodland settings - in or near forests, rural areas or remote sites. There, homeowners enjoy the beauty of the environment but face the very real danger of wildfire.


Picture of a Wildfire with two deer in the river


Wildfires often begin unnoticed. They spread quickly, igniting brush, trees and homes. Reduce your risk by preparing now - before wildfire strikes. Meet with your family to decide what to do and where to go if wildfires threaten your area. Follow these steps to protect your family, home and property.


What you can do before the wildland fire: 

  • Remove combustibles in a 30 - 50 foot radius around your home and outbuildings. (If in a forest, the radius should be 100 feet.)
  • Maintain an adequate outside water source such as a cistern, pond, well, swimming pool, or hydrant.
  • Have a garden hose long enough to reach any area of the home or other structures.
  • Install freeze-proof exterior water outlets on at least two sides of the home and near other structures.
  • Listen to radio and television for evacuation instructions.
  • Have your vehicle ready and plan your evacuation route.
  • Arrange for temporary housing outside the threatened area.
  • Make plans for livestock and/or pets when you evacuate.


What you can do when the wildland fire threatens your property:

  • When advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • Wear protective clothing - sturdy shoes, cotton or woolen clothing, long pants, long-sleeved shirt, gloves and a handkerchief to protect your face.
  • Lock your home.
  • Tell someone you left and where you're going. (You can also leave a note tacked to your front door.)
  • Watch for changes in speed and direction of fire and smoke as you evacuate.
  • Listen to radio for updates.


Create a Family Disaster Plan