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Montana Wildfire News

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.

(L to R) Forest Service Fire Scientist Mark Finney, Missoula District Ranger Jennifer Hensiek, Missoula County Commissioner Dave Strohmaier, at a Missoula City Club meeting, focused on wild fire, June 10, 2019.
Edward O'Brien / Montana Public Radio

It’s going to take fire — and a lot of it — to fight wildfire in the Missoula Valley, where it is and always has been part of the landscape. Experts say it’s also going to take more prescribed burning, new levels of government agency coordination and new layers of government regulation to make a difference.

July Max/Min Temps and Precipitation.
Coleen Haskell/Michael Richmond - National Interagency Fire Center

Average fire conditions are expected throughout most of Montana this summer, according to analysis given to Gov. Steve Bullock during his annual pre-fire-season briefing today. However, fire officials warn that climate change is continuing to lengthen fire seasons throughout the West.

Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlook July 2019.
Predictive Services - National Interagency Fire Center

Gov. Steve Bullock will get a briefing on Montana’s wildfire outlook Friday from a group of interagency fire partners. The governor’s annual fire season meeting delivers predictions on wildland fire potential and updates on the readiness of agencies to respond once fire breaks out.

The chief of the U.S. Forest Service is warning that a billion acres of land across America are at risk of catastrophic wildfires like last fall's deadly Camp Fire that destroyed most of Paradise, Calif.

Controlled burn in the Bitterroot National Forest.
Bitterroot National Forest

LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) — Land management agencies are underutilizing controlled burns to reduce wildfire threats in the western U.S., according to a wildfire study.

The University of Idaho study indicates the use of the intentionally set fires has decreased over the last two decades in the West while it has ramped up in southeastern states, The Lewiston Tribune reported Friday.

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