Most of Montana Facing Above Average Fire Threat Through October
On Wednesday, August 1, the Northern Rockies Coordination Center Released its projected fire danger levels for the region. Though July was fairly quiet in Montana, Public Information Officer Chris Barth says they are still expecting an above average fire season.
"Looking at August, it kind of outlines a tale of some different conditions across the Northern Rockies geographic area: above normal fire potential in Northern Idaho and all the way through central Montana, excluding the furthest southern portions of Montana and into Yellowstone," Barth said. "Looking out further into the future, were're also predicting above normal, significant wildfire potential in Montana through October and into the Fall.
Barth says one national trend that they’ve noticed this year is fewer fires than normal but more acres burned, which means of course, that the fires are getting bigger than average too. Montana has had one 1,000 acre blaze, but a surprising number of acres have already burned in the region.
"The Northern Rockies includes Montana, Northern Idaho, North Dakota, a small portion of South Dakota and also Yellowstone National Park," Barth explained. "I can tell you right now in the Northern Rockies we're just under 14,000 acres burned in the region so far this year, there's currently one fire just under 4,000 acres in Norther Idaho."
The NRCC releases a National Wildland Fire Potential outlook every month, which is based on weather patterns, ocean currents, fuel conditions on the ground and a bunch of other factors.