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Wildfire, fire management and air quality news for western Montana and the Northern Rockies.

Fire Danger 'Extreme' In Missoula County

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Josh Burnham
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Missoula County's Fire Danger is now "extreme"

Officials have bumped the fire danger rating to "extreme" in Missoula County following a record-breaking heat wave and forecasts calling for hot, dry conditions to continue through the holiday weekend.A press release from The Missoula County Fire Protection Association warns: "All fuels, both live and dead have dried to the point that fires will become very active quickly...We urge the public to be extremely cautious with fire. We also encourage the public to be extremely cautious while operating equipment that can produce sparks. Chainsaws and lawn mowers have already caused a few fires this year." Travelers are reminded to keep tow chains from dragging and sparking.

With Independence Day approaching, fireworks also become a worry. Most fireworks are banned inside the city of Missoula, and the city plans to enforce that ban. Both police officers and firefighters can issue citations. A first offense will cost you $100 plus court fees. That jumps to $300 plus court fees for a second offense in the same calendar year. The city will operate a fireworks report line 24 hours per day from June 29 through July 5. Call 258-4850 to report violations.

Fireworks are also prohibited on National Forest and National Park lands.

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