After extinguishing 20 wildland fires last year, the Helena Fire Department is preparing for a longer, drier season and needs the public’s help.
Helena Fire Chief Jon Campbell said that of the 20 vegetation fire starts reported within HFD’s jurisdiction in 2021, only one rose to the level of requiring mutual aid.
City of Helena spokesman Jake Garcin said fuel reduction activities, including removing dead trees, began May 23 on Nob Hill and has occurred across much of the city’s open lands in the run-up to fire season.
The fire department recently completed its annual wildland training and internal certification process. Firefighters have also been performing annual fire hose testing to ensure that equipment is operationally ready.
“We’re as best situated as possible,” Campbell said in an interview. “But we need property owners and individual citizens to take fire mitigation seriously. … We’d like our community to invest its attention there.”
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Both Campbell and Garcin said that in the past, residents were hit with a fire hose of information about their individual responsibilities regarding fire safety and prevention. This year, city officials plan to release a steady