MTPR

Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation

Montana Wildfire Roundup For September 4, 2018

Sep 4, 2018
A view of the Howe Ridge Fire in Glacier National Park, August 22, 2018.
Glacier National Park

All Stage 1 and Stage 2 fire restrictions have been lifted across northwest Montana.

Put simply, that means campfires and outdoor smoking is allowed again. Restrictions have also been lifted on operating equipment.

Fire managers across northwest Montana will lift Stage 2 fire restrictions early Friday morning.

This means campfires and outdoor smoking will be allowed again, and "hoot owl" restrictions for operating equipment will no longer be in effect. Open pile or debris burning is still banned until October.

National Park Service

Update 9:45

Glacier National Park officials have expanded the evacuation order to include all businesses and private residences within the Lake McDonald Lodge complex, including the historic Lake McDonald Lodge. Visitors and employees were notified of the need to evacuate at around 9 PM. The Going-to-the-Sun Road is closed from Lake McDonald Lodge to Logan Pass.

The town of Libby.
courtesy

Highway 37 fire, updated 4:20 p.m. July 20, 2018

A fire near the former vermiculite mine and a section of asbestos-contaminated forest outside Libby is drawing a quick response from crews working to control it.

The Highway 37 Fire, spotted Thursday evening about 4 miles north of Libby, quickly grew to about 50 acres today.

the 2017 Rice Ridge Fire near Seeley Lake
Inciweb

The State’s fire fighting savings account started this month with the second lowest balance since it was created a decade ago.

There’s only about $4 million in the fund’s reserves for this fire season. That’s about a fifth of what the state needs to cover an average fire season bill.

Montana's Flathead Valley from above.
Nicky Ouellet

State officials are encouraging Flathead Valley residents to take care of any debris burning before Sunday.

On July 1, no debris burning is allowed in Flathead and Northern Lake Counties.

Montana's Flathead Valley from above.
Nicky Ouellet

The Flathead Basin Commission is redefining its role protecting water quality in northwest Montana, after legislators gutted its funding last November and its executive director was fired in February.

The Commission spent much of Wednesday reinventing itself.

Firefighters and fire truck.
BLM (CC-BY-2.0)

Montana has just over $4 million in its firefighting reserve fund at the start of what’s expected to be ripe conditions for a substantial fire season. That means the state is significantly short of having the cash on hand needed cover the costs of even an average season. 

But Governor Steve Bullock says fire suppression won’t be limited this season, despite depleted funding reserves.

A firefighter stands in front of flames from a wildfire.
(PD)


This year’s fire season is off to a slow start, but it could ramp up in July. That’s according an update Montana’s State Forester gave to state lawmakers Wednesday.

An oily sheen on the shoreline of Flathead Lake near Somers, MT, May 2017.
Nicky Ouellet

A group tasked by the legislature to protect water quality in the Flathead Valley is in jeopardy after its funding was cut during Montana’s special legislative session in November and its executive director was terminated in February.

On Wednesday the Flathead Basin Commission will meet in Pablo and reassess its future.

Pages