Montanans can expect normal wildfire risk in July, fire forecasters say
Montana’s cool, wet spring and early summer is on the cusp of giving way to hotter and drier conditions. That means the summer wildfire season will soon ramp up, although experts say the potential for significant fires remains normal this month throughout the Northern Rockies.
A few weeks ago, the National Interagency Fire Center anticipated Montana’s wildfire risk would bump up to ‘above normal’ for July, but several factors prevented that from happening. Those include this year’s late green-up, the lack of sustained extreme heat and the expectation of near-average temperatures and precipitation for July.
No significant large fires were reported anywhere last month in the Rockies. Fast initial attack is keeping smaller fire starts to a few acres or less in size.
Montana’s latest drought outlook report shows conditions improved statewide this spring. One notable exception is north central Montana which picked up only marginal moisture and remained mostly dry during what is typically one of the region’s wettest times of the year.
NIFC anticipates central Montana’s wildfire potential will increase to above normal starting next month.