Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

Articles written by Doug Dodge

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  • Wildfire Spring Cleaning

    DOUG DODGE, Jefferson County DES and Fire Warden|May 15, 2024

    Spring is upon us in Montana, and with it comes time for spring cleaning and improvement activities around the house. While we prune, plant, paint, and prepare for summer, it is critical to consider wildfire risk for all our springtime duties and to take a moment to reflect upon the question, “What can I do?” What can I do immediately around my home to reduce its risk of ignition? If you are considering replacing mulch around your house, remember that the first three feet of landscaping should be clear of flammable material. Wood chips, bar...

  • Do You Have Essential Wildfire Knowledge?

    DOUG DODGE, Jefferson County DES and Fire Warden|Aug 23, 2023

    The devastation Hawaii is experiencing due to wildfire is heart-wrenching to see and a sobering reminder to take stock of our own preparedness in the event of such a catastrophe closer to home. Local emergency response personnel plan, train and equip for disasters, but those efforts are only one side of a preparedness partnership. During major incidents, first responders can be overwhelmed; there simply are not enough resources initially available to help all who need it. For this reason, it is...

  • Evacuation Preparedness in Jefferson County

    DOUG DODGE, Jefferson County DES and Fire Warden|Aug 10, 2022

    It’s late afternoon in August, you look out your window and a typical bright summer day is suddenly growing very dark. You step outside and the air is filled with a thick brown haze blotting out the sun, and you can hardly make out your neighbor’s house across the street. The wind is howling, breathing is difficult in the smoke and heat, and you can hear sirens in the distance. You aren’t sure where the fire is, but your nose tells you it’s close. What you do now can be the difference between survival and entrapment. Are you ready? As the hea...

  • How to Prepare For Flooding

    DOUG DODGE, Jefferson County DES and Fire Warden|Jun 22, 2022

    While Jefferson County has thankfully not experienced the historic flooding that neighboring counties have, their struggles are a sobering reminder to act now to prepare for flooding. Jefferson County has many areas that are vulnerable to this threat. The first step is to purchase flood insurance. Federal assistance to private property owners due to flooding impacts is extremely rare, and even when it is provided, it usually is never enough to restore the property to its pre-flood condition. Next, purchase sandbags and sand and have a way to...

  • Getting Ready for Montana Fire Season

    DOUG DODGE, Jefferson County DES and Fire Warden|May 4, 2022

    While wildfire is the most likely major hazard we face in Jefferson County, our preparedness plans should be flexible enough to help us through any hazard we may face. We call this an all-hazard approach to preparedness. Every hazard will have its own specific preparation requirements, but every hazard will also share common problems that an all-hazard approach can help solve. No matter the incident, one of the first steps is to gather accurate information to make good decisions. Jefferson County provides that kind of emergency information in...

  • Snowpack high in county

    DOUG DODGE, Jefferson County Disaster and Emergency Services Coordinator|Mar 14, 2018

    The current snowpack in Jefferson County can be summed up easily: we are in it up to our waists. If you live in the high country, or have spent time there recently, this comes as no surprise. The National Weather Service confirms this with their snow-water equivalent data, which shows the amount of water contained in the snowpack. The Jefferson River watershed, which covers Jefferson County south of Boulder Hill, is currently at 133% of normal. The Missouri Mainstem watershed, which covers Jefferson County north of Boulder Hill, is currently... Full story