KALISPELL - As extreme cold continues across Northwest Montana first responders are working hard in freezing conditions to help those in need.
South Kalispell Fire Chief Chris Yerkes says house fires and carbon monoxide poisoning are major concerns during extreme cold weather events.
Yerkes says residents using a secondary heat source such as a wood stove need to make sure chimneys are cleaned properly and in working order.
He says those using generators need to be on high alert, gas furnace ventilators will often ice over leading to dangerous exposure to carbon monoxide poisoning.
He says one way that residents can help first responders is by plowing snow away from any fire hydrants in their neighborhoods.
“Recommend if you’ve got a hydrant in front of your place, if your able to of course shovel that out at least a good couple feet around it so at least we can find it and have access to it and be able to get hoses to it to utilize it, that could be the difference from a home standing or burning to the ground honestly,” added Yerkes.
Yerkes says emergency kits with extra water, blankets and flashlights could also come in handy.