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Warm Weather Safety

Our region's warm weather months offer a variety of outdoor safety topics to be aware of. From thunderstorms, lightning, and tornadoes; to insects, rattlesnakes, heat illnesses, and wildfire. 

Summer Weather: Our area sees warm and hot temperatures and it is important to monitor proper hydration, work/rest ratios, and to know the signs of heat injuries and how to respond to them. Weather via thunderstorms can spawn rapidly and evolving dangers to anyone caught off guard and not paying attention to weather forecasts or simply monitoring the skies throughout one's activities. Straight-line winds, lightning, hail, and tornadoes can all pose a risk to those outside and without adequate shelter. One should always have a plan in place and have some form of shelter with them if the weather changes for the worse. 

Insects: Mosquitoes, gnats, horseflies, ticks, and wasps are the main insects to be aware of. Insect repellent with DEET is usually effective for mosquitoes and ticks. Gnats and horseflies can prove quite uninhibited though. Wasps can also be a bother, usually closer to the end of summer. Anyone that is allergic to their sting needs to be sure to carry an Epipen in the event of a sting(s). 

Rattlesnakes: As covered in our Wildlife Safety section, the Prairie Rattlesnake does call North Dakota and the majority of Montana home. Please refer to the page for guidance on these critters as well as bite information for human and dog/horse veterinarian center information.

Poison Ivy / Oak: Our region is also home to this plant. It is very important to be aware of what brush and vegetation one is moving through. Cool, shady areas in woodlands with undergrowth are prime locations for these plants to be.

Leaves of three, let it be!

Lightning: Thunderstorms often produce lightning that can be dangerous to anyone caught outdoors and without adequate shelter. Lightning can be a threat upwards of ten miles away. As the saying goes, "When thunder roars, go indoors." But what if you are out hiking, camping, or in an otherwise precarious spot where you can't go indoors and you find yourself in a risky situation? Check out the graphic about How to Survive a Lightning Strike. Monitor the skies, the weather forecast, purchase a lightning detector, and carry proper emergency shelter with you. Always have a back-up plan for adverse weather!

Wildfires: The region is prone to the risk of wildfires as experienced in recent years. It is important to know evacuation routes from your location or camp in the event a wildfire develops and moves fast. Winds can often increase the distance a fire can spread, as can embers that ignite spot fires. Always monitor the fire danger for the area you are in. There are typically restrictions in place county by county as well as on federal and state public lands. This can regulate whether or not a campfire is permitted as well. Be sure to check nearby information boards or online.

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