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

Managers Predict 'Normal' Fire Season In The Flathead

BLM firefighters stand near their firetruck as smoke rises up in the background.
Bureau of Land Management
Flathead Area Fire Managers are predicting a "normal" fire season.

Fire managers in the Flathead Valley are predicting a normal summer in terms of wildland fires. They outlined those predictions at a meeting at the Office of Emergency Services in Kalispell today. "Normal" still means crews from several agencies will probably respond to a few hundred fires in northwest Montana this season.

An average season sees roughly a dozen wildland fires in Glacier National Park, 90 on lands managed by the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation and 70 in the Flathead National Forest. The vast majority of these are lightning ignited, but fires on county managed lands are usually human caused - between 60 and 80 percent.

While northwest Montana is on course for a normal year, the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, predicts Alaska and areas in the Southwest will see above normal fire potential in June and July. By August, California, Idaho and Nevada will likely also see above normal potential.

Nicky is MTPR's Flathead-area reporter.
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