Montana Public Radio

wildfire

Smoke from the Rice Ridge Fire hangs over Seeley Lake, MT, August 2017.
Inciweb

As the number of coronavirus cases in Montana rise, public health officials and researchers say smoke from the upcoming wildfire season could make people more susceptible to catching the virus, and make patient outcomes much more deadly.

Lightning, warm temperatures and dry conditions are keeping firefighters busy in the region. YPR’s Kay Erickson has the details.

Map of the Gold Butterfly Project vicinity.
Bitterroot National Forest

Environmental groups are suing the Bitterroot National Forest over a proposed project that calls for about 5,600 acres of commercial logging.  The Gold Butterfly project would take place on about 7,300 acres. It includes non-commercial thinning and about 4,800 acres of prescribed burns.

A National Forest Service fire danger sign.
Courtesy: Bitterroot National Forest

Missoula’s recent warm and dry conditions have prompted officials to push local fire danger from low to moderate. According to the Missoula County Fire Protection Association that means outdoor debris burning season closes June 7.

Smoke from the Lump Gulch Fire burning south of Helena, MT, June 13, 2020.
Inciweb

Fire officials say they now know how a wildfire started last weekend roughly 13 miles south of Helena.

How To Assess Wildfire Risk At Your Home

Jun 17, 2020

 

Montana is predicted to have an above average wildfire season. And with firefighters potentially facing dual emergencies of wildfire and COVID-19, specialists say that this year, more than any other, residents can play a vital role in keeping firefighters safe by preparing their homes and communities. Morgan Levey takes us on a wildfire assessment of her home.


Wildland fire managers told Governor Steve Bullock June 16 in a 2020 fire season briefing they’re ready for what could become an above average fire year made even more complicated by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Fire hose.
Inciweb

Pre-evacuation notices were lifted Tuesday for about 20 homes threatened by the Lump Gulch Fire burning south of Helena in Jefferson County. Strong winds caused the fire to grow quickly this weekend.

John Tubbs, Director of the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, says he doesn't know how those homes were spared.


A 1,500 acre wildfire south of Helena kicked off Montana’s fire season this past weekend. This year, many of the strategies fire crews use to protect property and resources will look different as fire fighters also try to protect themselves from the COVID-19 illness. Two Type 1 fire incident commanders break down how new COVID-19 protocols will play out in the Northern Rockies.

Smoke from the Lump Gulch Fire burning south of Helena, MT, June 13, 2020.
Inciweb

There was minimal growth Monday on a wildfire burning near Clancy, south of Helena. Strong winds fanned the Lump Gulch fire Saturday afternoon which led to the mandatory evacuation of around 20 homes over the weekend.

Incident spokesman Duane Buchi says fire behavior was very quiet Monday.

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