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

Officials say scarce resources, hiring challenges could complicate the upcoming fire season

Montana Wildfire News

Gov. Greg Gianforte was briefed Monday on the state’s wildfire season outlook.

Officials tell Gianforte the upcoming season could be marked by heavy competition for scarce resources, due in part to ongoing challenges to hire enough wildland firefighters.

Still, state, federal and local agency administrators vow aggressive, cooperative initial attack on smaller fires.

April’s cooler-than-average temperatures and near-normal precipitation bolstered the snowpack west of the Divide.

Western Montana’s wildfire outlook is still uncertain. Forecasters are watching the precipitation, but say significant wildfires remain a risk in Montana this season.

Forecasters say eastern Montana’s ongoing drought could likely lead to above-normal potential for significant wildfires in July and August.

Despite a variable outlook across the state, experts are predicting another active fire season both regionally and across the nation.

The connection between humans and fire goes back millions of years. What started with campfires and cooking grew into a burning addiction that catalyzed the Industrial Revolution and now shapes nearly every aspect of our society. Now, our ongoing reliance on fire in its many forms is changing the climate with explosive consequences for wildfires — and much more.