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wildfire

Smoke from the Lolo Peak Fire seen from Missoula on the evening of August 16, 2017.
Anne Hosler

The Lolo National Forest announced Wednesday that over 65,000 tree seedlings were planted across the area burned in the Lolo Peak Fire in 2017. 

The planting occurred in May thanks to a partnership with the National Forest Foundation, which donated $30,000 to purchase seedlings for the project.

Missoula County fire officials announced Monday they will move fire danger signs to "High" effective immediately.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

Missoula County fire officials announced Monday they will move fire danger signs to "high" effective immediately.

The U.S. Forest Service's Wildland Fire Assessment System shows at least two other regions with "High" fire danger — north-central and southeast Montana.

It’s been about a year since lightning started a fire that burned almost 4,500 acres in the Lee Metcalf Wilderness and Yellowstone National Park. Local fire managers and ecologists invited journalists to see how the burn site is recovering and learn how fire plays a role on the landscape.

Grass fire. Stock photo.
iStock

A small wildfire that was discovered Monday on the Flathead Reservation is now being called 80 percent contained. Responders say the blaze was sparked by lightning either Sunday or Monday.

The wildfire burned just two and a half miles northwest of Arlee. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Division of Fire and local firefighters were able to contain 20 percent of the blaze shortly after responding Monday evening.


For the first time in thirty years, the U.S. Forest Service is updating its management plan for the Custer-Gallatin National Forest. It’ll determine where you can mountain bike, build new trails and harvest timber, among other things.

The Howe Ridge Fire in Glacier National Park on August 21, 2018
Inciweb

A new Montana Free Press series is shedding a light on how policies of the past and present intersect with wildfire response. Amanda Eggert, a former wildland firefighter and freelance journalist, is writing the three-part series Living With Fire. Montana Public Radio’s Aaron Bolton spoke with her about the series.

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

Links and contact info for fire season resources in the Northern Rockies, including restrictions and closures, air quality and more.

Get the latest wildfire, fire management and air quality news for Western Montana and the Northern Rockies right here, on your radio during our morning and evening newscasts, via podcast, or in your inbox each day as news breaks.

U.S. Small Business Administration Logo
U.S. Small Business Administration Website

Montana small businesses received about half a billion dollars in 2018 through federal contracts. The federal government says it exceeded its small business federal contracting goal nationwide for the sixth year in a row in 2018.  

Montana businesses received about $729 million dollars last year, and about 60% of that went to small businesses. That’s according to a U.S. Small Business Administration press release on Wednesday.

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

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.

Updated at 3:22 p.m. ET

Federal land managers on Wednesday proposed sweeping rule changes to a landmark environmental law that would allow them to fast-track certain forest management projects, including logging and prescribed burning.

The U.S. Forest Service, under Chief Vicki Christiansen, is proposing revisions to its National Environmental Policy Act regulations that could limit environmental review and public input on projects ranging from forest health and wildfire mitigation to infrastructure upgrades to commercial logging on federal land.

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