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

Fire Activity Increases As High Temps, Winds Enter The Forecast

A hand crew assigned to the July Fire near Zortman, MT.
A hand crew assigned to the July Fire near Zortman, MT.

Fire activity is increasing across the state as the National Weather Service issued a red flag warning today for high temperatures, gusty winds and low humidity for a large portion of central and northeastern Montana. The warning is in effect until 9 p.m tonight.

In north-central Montana, the July fire continues to burn south of the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, near the town of Zortman. It had burned nearly 2.7 square miles by Tuesday night, and about 135 firefighters are currently working on the blaze.

No mandatory evacuations have been ordered at this time, but law enforcement officers from the Phillips County Sheriff's Office and BLM are ready to assist with evacuations should they become necessary.

Crystal Beckman is with the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. She says that even though fire season is picking up, everyone should keep things in perspective.

"Across the region we are following our typical fire season. There’s nothing that’s causing us large alarm at this time," Beckman says. "We’re just in those hot summer months where wildfires occur."

Beckman says anyone who plans on working or recreating outside should double check local fire restrictions.

Yellowstone National Park changed its fire danger level from low to moderate today. Currently there are no fire-related restrictions or closures in place. Campfires are only allowed in designated fire rings in 11 developed campgrounds and most backcountry campsites.

Find up-to-date information about fire season in the Northern Rockies, including restrictions and closures, and local air quality.

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