Wild Animals Retreat to Montanan’s Yards to Escape Inferno

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Wildfire in the Bitterroot National Forest. Photo by John McColgan,

It is not uncommon for wild animals to escape the heat to seek safe shelter and fresh water sources when the forests and fields are ablaze.

The problem, though, is they are landing in rural neighborhoods and where residents live.

Rattlers are progressing to resident’s yards in Billings looking for water and shelter. Some citizens say to NOT kill them but rather give them a “wide berth” (meaning lots of space) “and spray them with a hose to encourage them to move on.”

“Rattlesnakes have no desire to attack you or your dog. They can’t eat you, and biting wastes precious venom and exposes their heads to attack. Thus they only bite if they feel their lives are in danger. Respect the rattler, and it will be content to ignore you. And don’t worry; the snakes are not establishing a den in your yard. They are only looking for water and a reprieve from the heat. They will return to their usual territory once these needs have been met.”

Granted, that is one person’s opinion. It’s your property, so your rules.

Others state, “Use a shovel or a pistol!”

In many places, you can call animal control or local police or fire departments to remove the snake.

Whatever method you utilize, please proceed with caution.

Animals everywhere are in panic mode attempting to escape the flames.

See below of Poverty Flats Fire east of Hardin Mt. Video Credit Chris Sharpe

Content made on Kapwing

Mountain lions are notorious for roaming the Bigfork and Ferndale area and have for years; however, with such raging infernos and drought conditions, they are making more appearances in nearby neighborhoods.


Bears also seem to love the Bigfork area so pay special attention to any outdoor areas near the home. We urge all Montanans to take extra care.

Mountain lions especially are predators, but they are also beasts trying to “retreat from the heat.”

Be careful, Montanans. Continually check your property and your surroundings for unusual activity and keep alert.




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