MTPR

Montana Wildfire News

Credit (PD)

Active Montana wildfires: Inciweb Montana (click here and zoom in to find fires specific to Montana)

Restrictions, closures, emergency services and more: Fire Season Information.

Montana Department of Environmental Quality Daily Wildfire Air Quality Reports

Montana Department of Environmental Quality Wildfire Smoke Updates

Firefighter in front of a wildfire.
(PD)

Wildfire training sessions for firefighters in Montana are being called off because of the government shutdown. That has state officials worried about whether they’ll be prepared for next fire season. 

Michael DeGrosky has been scheduled for months to teach a wildfire training course in Missoula next week.

The 2,100-acre Weed Lake project is entirely within the wildland-urban interface on the east side of Swan Lake, approximately 14 miles outside Bigfork.
USDA

The Flathead National Forest announced Monday that it has approved a pair of vegetation management projects that it says will improve forest health and increase resistance to wildfires.

The U.S. Forest Service and Montana DNRC work to plant more than 13,000 whitebark pine seedlings in the Swan Mountain Range as a cooperative post-burn restoration project on June 18, 2018.
Nicky Ouellet / MTPR

A team of researchers at the University of Montana has received a $700,000 grant from NASA to promote reforestation efforts across the western United States.

The grant will allow UM’s researchers to develop a set of tools to help the U.S. Forest Service improve its decision-making process following major disturbances like wildfires.

Firefighter in front of a wildfire.
(PD)

The 2018 fire season has cost the state $6.7 million as of the end of November, according to the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.

That’s significantly under the state’s average fire bill of around $20 million over the last decade.

Wildfire resistant home construction cost comparison.
Headwaters Economics

A study released this week finds new wildfire resistant homes cost roughly the same as more traditional home construction. The finding is potentially significant given growing public awareness as fire seasons lengthen and mega-fires, like California's devastating Camp Fire, increasingly displace people from their homes.

One-third of American homes are now located in the wildland-urban interface, that zone where homes are built near, or in, undeveloped wildlands susceptible to fire.

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