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100 Degree Weather Brings High Fire Danger To Western Montana

aaron traylor
Sun

In the next few days, the National Weather Service is calling for temperatures to top 100 degrees in western Montana, bringing with them high fire danger.

Meteorologist Dan Zumpf  said temperatures are already in the low 90’s in Missoula, but will get hotter as the 4th of July holiday week continues.

“There really won’t be any escape from the heat, ” Zumpf said. “Highs will be in the low 100’s, with lows in the 60’s throughout the latter half of the upcoming week. This warm scenario makes us think back to 2007, when Missoula reached an all time record high of 107. The heat will linger all week into the following Monday, when temperatures will return to the low to mid 90’s. This long heatwave will be especially tough on those who can’t escape the heat, so it might be a good idea to check in on neighbors who are elderly or shut-ins.”

The heat will also increase fire danger, according to DNRC spokesman Jordan Koppen.

“Technically, we’re already in high fire danger, Koppen said. “I anticipate we’ll move the signs up to ‘high’ on Monday. I was headed up to the Swan today, (Sunday) and everything’s starting to cure out and brown out. We got a few inches of rain a couple of weeks ago, but things are drying out, and we all need to be super careful out there.”

Koppen said a scouting trip up to higher elevations revealed how dry the conditions already are in western Montana.

:I took a scouting trip up to an area pretty high above Seeley Lake, and everything was super crunchy up there,” he said. “There weren’t any more snow patches, so people out camping, please put your campfires out so they’re cold to the touch. It’s super important. We have to work together to keep from having to fight human-caused fires. I’m sure the lightning will come eventually,so let’s do all we can to keep our firefighters safe.”

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