With the 4th of July coming up, many are looking forward to celebrating with friend and family – and many are planning on using fireworks. While many are planning their celebration, firefighters are putting their plans together on how they will handle the inevitable wildfires. Our community is quickly jumping into wildfire season with fires beginning to appear all around us and officials are well aware that many of the wildfire risk factors are present here in Gallatin County. Our mountain snow pack melted early, we had well below average spring rain, and now we have above average temperatures. These factors combined with a fire getting ignited can often lead to rapid fire growth and a large wildfire escaping initial attack.
The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) observed the 30th anniversary of the Montana Dam Safety Act on May 31, 2015, which was also designated as National Dam Safety Awareness Day. Laurence Siroky, chief of DNRC’s Water Operations Bureau and one of the original architects of the 1985 Dam Safety Act, noted the law was aimed at protecting Montanans from dam failure and encouraging responsible use and maintenance of dams. “Under this law, dam owners are responsible for scheduling an engineering inspection of their dam at least once every five years,” Siroky said. “They’re also required to perform proper maintenance and have an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) that outlines notification procedures to local law enfo