Montana outdoor safety first, with a dash of humor.

The Gallatin County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue team reminded Montana residents (new and old) that springtime in Montana presents several challenging situations that could be hazardous for the unprepared. The list of dangers in Montana begins straightforwardly, but a sense of humor in the post quickly becomes evident.

Posted on March 19th, the first day of Spring, the Search & Rescue team reminder rattles off a list of what outdoor enthusiasts can expect this time of year in Montana.

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Avalanches

Spring is very much avalanche season in Montana's high country.

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Fire

Wildfire season could come early this year in Montana if we don't receive significant snowfall in the higher elevations.

Flooding Temporarily Closes Yellowstone National Park
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Flood

Rapid spikes in temperature or heavy rain in the mountains can unleash too much water at once.

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Sunburn

Montanans get a little pale during our long, dark winters. It's easy to get a painful sunburn on those warm spring days.

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Fast moving water

Mountain streams and rivers will be full to the brim soon.

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Lightning

Thankfully, lightning strikes that hit humans are rare. However, standing on a Montana mountaintop during a thunderstorm dramatically increases your odds of getting struck.

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Slippery ice

Warm weather on one day, followed by freezing temps the next can lead to icy conditions in the backcountry.

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Blizzard

Spring snowstorms can pop up quickly in Montana.

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Extreme heat

Hopefully, those 90+ degree days aren't coming for a few more months.

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Extreme cold

Cold is much more likely in March, April, and May than heat. Plan accordingly.

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Gusting winds

Wind isn't necessarily dangerous (unless you're driving a semi-truck between Big Timber and Bozeman), but it sure is annoying.

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Bear

We've heard that bears are coming out of hibernation early this year in many areas of Montana. And they're hungry.

The Baxter Hotel, Bozeman, MT. Photo Credit: Tom Fontaine @tom.r.f.photography via Upsplash
Photo Credit: Tom Fontaine@tom.r.f.photography via Unsplash
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Moose

A moose on the loose is not your friend.

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Sasquatch

Do you want to get out and about this spring? So does Sasquatch. Keep your phone handy in Montana's backcountry, and maybe you'll be the first person ever to get a clear photo.

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Bison encounters

Let's play a fun game. Pick a date on which you think the first tourist will get struck by a bison. The closest person wins a free high-five and a hug the next time I see you.

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Quicksand

Contrary to popular belief, you can find quicksand in Montana. Thankfully, it's usually only a few inches deep. Gumbo, on the other hand, is a vehicle-snagging nightmare.

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Mudslides, landslides, rockslides.

Earth slides are common in Montana, usually like the example pictured above.

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Hot metal slides at playgrounds

Now THESE things are the real danger.

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Meteor strikes

As far as we know, Montana has never experienced a major meteor impact, but it can't be ruled out.

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Supervolcano

When my kid was younger he worried constantly about the supervolcano under Yellowstone National Park. I told him, "Hey, at least we'll have a front-row seat when she finally decides to pop."

Here's the Gallatin County Search and Rescue Facebook post.

The department was clearly having some fun with this post, but preparedness and caution in Montana's outdoor playground is a serious subject. Please recreate safely this spring in Big Sky County.

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