MTPR

wildfire

Montana air quality from 3-4 p.m., May 31, 2019.
Montana Department of Environmental Quality

Smoke from large wildfires Alberta drifted into more of Montana Friday, causing haze and air quality issues on both sides of the divide.

Air Quality Meteorologist Kristen Martin with Montana’s Department of Environmental Quality says today may be the worst for the state, at least for now.

Montana air quality health effects for 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., May 30, 2019.
Montana Department of Environmental Quality

Smoke from Canadian wildfires burning in northern Alberta is degrading air quality in parts of Montana. Missoula City-County Air Quality Specialist Ben Schmidt says the smoke started infiltrating Montana’s airshed Wednesday evening.

A regular and large-size emergency shelter for wildland firefighters
NIFC.gov

The most recent effort to develop a better fire shelter for wildland firefighters produced nothing new, but don’t tell U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Fire Safety Specialist Ted Mason the five-year research project was a bust.

"Absolutely not," Mason said. "I’m looking at it like we’ve proved that we did a really good job in 2002 when we created the shelter we’re currently using."

"Good Neighbor Authority" allows states and tribes to help the Forest Service with projects on national forest land. The Taylor Hellroaring project near Whitefish is one such project.
U.S. Forest Service

Public comment ends this week on a Forest Service project near Whitefish which proposes to use so-called “good neighbor authority” to collaborate with the State of Montana. It’s a new approach that could mark a shift in which parties get a say in managing national forests.

Wildland Firefighters working on fire line on the West Fork Fish Creek Fire in 2015.
Inciweb

Here’s a riddle: When is a wildland firefighter not technically a firefighter? Answer: When he or she works for the federal government.

That’s because the feds designate them as "forestry technicians." That irks many firefighters who put it all on the line as a changing climate means wildfire seasons are now longer and fires burn bigger and hotter.

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