The soaking rain that fell in parts of Western Montana dramatically cooled temperatures yesterday and came as welcome respite from the very hot and dry conditions of the past few weeks.
Fire officials, however, caution the rain by no means qualifies as a "season-ending" event.
Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation's Jordan Koppen says the rain storm that parked over the Missoula valley yesterday was great to see:
"With the conditions that we've had - all the heat and dry days - all it'll take is...up to three hours for thing to dry right back out. Usually only the rain hits the canopy in the woods, so things on the ground are still dry and we have to use extreme caution. Fire danger is still at "very high"; restrictions are still in place."
The public still must fully extinguish all campfires in approved fire rings, be careful with all ignition sources such as dragging trailer chains and hot engines contacting dry, tall vegetation.
The fire danger is still listed as "very high" across much of western Montana, but that might be bumped-up to "Extreme" in the coming days.
The National Weather service says more storms could move into western Montana again this afternoon and evening.