Consider it the unofficial start of the summer wildfire season in the Bitterroot Valley. Fire danger on the Bitterroot National Forest was raised up a notch Wednesday, going from “Low” to “Moderate."
Moderate fire dangers means a fire can start from most accidental causes. Fires started under these conditions in open, dry grasslands can quickly take off, while timber fires spread more slowly and are easier to control.
Forest officials say fuels are starting to dry out as temperatures warm. While there are currently no fire restrictions in the Bitterroot Valley, fire officials are asking people to keep campfires small. Those fires must also be completely extinguished and cool to the touch before leaving camp.
Firefighters have extinguished seven human-caused fires so far this year, as well as three lightning fires on the Bitterroot National Forest.