The Missoula County Fire Protection Association’s interagency wildland officials have raised the fire danger to ‘extreme’ as of noon on Wednesday.

Fire Prevention Specialist with the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation Jordan Koppen explains.

“The Missoula County Fire Protection Association decided to raise the bar from ‘high’ to ‘extreme’ fire danger,” said Koppen. “We’re seeing a lot of hot and dry conditions out there, with a lot of consecutive hot days. There’s going to be some wind in the extended forecast, and that just exacerbates that extreme fire danger that we’re in right now.”

MCFPA’s Chris Johnson said State Two fire protections will be imposed starting Friday.

On Friday, August 10th, folks in the Missoula area will wake up to Stage Two fire restrictions,” said Johnson. “That means a prohibition on campfires, and we initiate what are commonly referred to as ‘hoot owl’ restrictions, so after one o’clock, operating internal combustion agencies off-road and outside city limits will be prohibited.”

Johnson said even though campfires will not be allowed, LP gas stoves that can be turned on and off are allowed for camping, as are generators that have approved spark arresters.”

Johnson explains why mowing lawns should be done in the cool morning hours where there is more moisture in the air.”

“Just a few years ago a young fellow on the north side of I-90 did some lawn mowing out in the tall dead grass, but when he looked behind him there was a full-on wildfire heading up the hill,” he said. “He had no intention of starting a wildfire that day, but it got away from him and burned a couple of hundred acres that day.”

Johnson also suggests anyone living in the wildland urban interface to sign up for Smart 9-1-1.