Montana Public Radio

wildfire

It may be winter but fire danger around Montana could spike this weekend when a system with strong winds, dry conditions and possible record highs for parts of Montana blows in on Saturday.

A survey of elk hiding cover in the Telegraph Vegetation Project area.
Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A wildfire mitigation project was allowed to proceed in Montana's Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest after two conservation groups raised concerns over the impact on big game habitat, federal appeals court officials said.

Grants Available For Home Wildfire Protection

Jan 13, 2020

 

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) plans to award $500 grants to homeowners for fire protection. 

 

A handful of Montana wildland firefighters are helping fight the historic bushfires in Australia, which have burned over 12 million acres, destroyed over 2,000 homes and killed at least 24 people. 

This map shows the southern portion of the proposed action for the Frozen Moose Project in the Flathead National Forest.
Flathead National Forest

The Flathead National Forest announced a large project Wednesday that proposes commercial logging in areas usually protected from that activity. Officials say it aims to reduce wildfire risk to private homes near the North Fork of the Flathead River.

A screen capture from a NorthWestern Energy video shows a powerline corridor that must be cleared of hazard trees to help prevent wildfires.
Screen capture from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kH464TvlSo

Montana utility regulators say NorthWestern Energy must spend at least $3.2 million a year on removing trees near power lines. Regulators are worried that power company equipment could spark flames similar to the devastating wildfire in California last year that killed more than 80 people and destroyed the town of Paradise.

Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte and U.S. Agriculture Undersecretary Jim Hubbard hold a forest management roundtable at  the U.S. Forest Service’s Aerial Fire Depot and Smokejumper Center in Missoula, Nov. 7, 2019.
Edward O'Brien / Montana Public Radio

Montana U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte and U.S. Agriculture Department Undersecretary Jim Hubbard spearheaded a roundtable this week in Missoula focused on forest and wildland fire policy.

Gianforte called for greater collaboration among stakeholders. Some stakeholders, however, were noticeably absent from the event.

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

Wildland firefighting is a team effort. California has helped Montana during wildfire crises, and now Montana is returning the favor.

California’s fires have consumed tens of thousands of acres and forced thousands to flee their homes. With their resources stretched thin and firefighters battling fatigue, incident commanders reached out for help Sunday.

Neptune Aviation air tanker drops retardant on a fire.
Steve Whitby/Neptune Aviation

A Missoula-based fire aviation company is helping battle a massive wildfire in the heart of Northern California wine country.

Five of Neptune Aviation’s nine jet tankers are hitting the Kincade Fire with retardant drops to help slow its spread.

Residual smoke from the previous day's underburn operations north of the Main Rattlesnake Trailhead near Missoula, MT, Oct. 17, 2019.
Lolo National Forest

It’s fall and that means it’s prescribed fire season in Montana. Wildland managers are now intentionally setting fires to reduce forest fuel buildup or to restore native vegetation.

Two prescribed wildfire operations just north of Missoula produced dense smoke that degraded air quality to unhealthy levels Wednesday night into Thursday morning. As weather forecasters predicted though, a cold front pushed into the region Thursday afternoon, increasing winds which helped dissipate the smoke.

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