Be "Fire Aware" While Hunting

Robert Thomas

With the annual archery hunting season already underway and other seasons soon to open the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation (SWF) and Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association (SSGA) have teamed up to warn all hunters to be fire aware to help prevent fires.

“In light of some issues and the devastating fires last year in the southwest we would like to warn all Saskatchewan hunters to take special precautions,” SWF Executive Director Darrell Crabbe said in a interview.

Part of that preparedness comes from asking permission, driving in proper areas and carrying firefighting equipment.

“We ask hunters to stay on roads and trails with their vehicles. To ask for permission to go hunting. And carry a fire extinguisher and shovel just in case,” Crabbe said.

Asking the farmer for permission to hunt first is not just a courtesy but also can serve as an invaluable source of information as to where hazard areas are and where not to venture to, he said.

“You should contact the landowner first and get instructions on where they want you to and where not to go.”

Careless smoking might cause fires but fires could also result from hot vehicle manifolds, or an overheated bearing plus ATVs driving through high grass areas.

“We ask everyone to hunt on foot,” Crabbe said.

Carrying a shovel, a fire extinguisher and other fire fighting equipment is necessary just in case a fire accidently starts and it can be put out in its infancy, he said.

“The last thing anybody needs is an out of control wildfire “

Chad MacPherson, SSGA General Manager reiterates Crabbe's views and warns against unnecessary idling of vehicles as a hot exhaust system could start a fire.

“We encourage all hunters to take extra precautions this hunting season with the increased risk of fires,” MacPherson said in a news release.

One thing Crabbe did emphasize is that fire precautions and hunting on foot fall into the philosophy of “leaving only footprints.”

Additionally, the Province of Saskatchewan has sent out a similar release stressing the need for fire safety while hunting due to the hot and dry conditions this Summer in many regions of the province.

The Province is advising hunters to keep their vehicle out of tall grass and stick to roads and trails.

Crabbe said precautions can go a long way to prevent fires and to wish “everybody a safe and successful hunting season this year.”

On a related note: if you'd like to know what you can do to help wildlife affected by Wildfires read Water For Wildlife: Wildfires