Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Wildfire, fire management and air quality news for western Montana and the Northern Rockies.

Officials say more hot weather is on its way and wildfire risks remain high

Heat is expected to return to Montana this week.
National Weather Service Great Falls
Heat is expected to return to Montana this week.

This week’s rain and cool temperatures are a welcome relief from the recent heat and tinder dry conditions, but it won't last long. More seasonally hot weather is just around the corner and the potential for new wildfires to start remains high.

Steady rain fell Monday over the River Road East fire that exploded to life late last week. According to the Sanders County Ledger, at least seven residences and 27 structures burned in the fire near the western Montana community of Paradise.

While the rain and cooler temperatures won’t extinguish that 17,000-acre wildfire, it is giving firefighters an opportunity to directly attack the flames.

Montana Department of Natural Resources Fire Management Officer Karl Nikoleyczik said the precipitation is certainly not a wildfire season-ending event.

“We’ve got a high-pressure system building into the weekend to get us up into the high 80s, low 90s, potentially. There’s a chance for some scattered thunderstorms building as well that could bring potential lightning, so we’re not out of the woods quite yet,” Nikoleyczik said.

Recreationists are reminded to fully extinguish their campfires.

Fire officials said they will continue to aggressively attack new fire starts whenever possible until the snow flies.

Edward O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the UM School of Journalism. He covers a wide range of stories from around the state.  
(406) 243-4065
Become a sustaining member for as low as $5/month
Make an annual or one-time donation to support MTPR
Pay an existing pledge or update your payment information