MTPR

Lolo National Forest

The Southwestern Crown Collaborative visits a burn site from the Rice Ridge Fire near Seeley Lake.
Brittany Greeson, Crossing The Divide

Wildfires burned more than a million acres across Montana this year, making it one of the most expensive fire seasons since 1999. While the smoke has cleared, the debate over wildfires and forest management is ongoing. Some Montana lawmakers are blaming what they call "environmental extremists" who've managed to stop some logging. But ecologists say it's more complicated than that. In an effort to learn how to live with wildfires, the Southwestern Crown Collaborative is one group trying to find common ground.

This map shows the burn severity as of August 22, 2017 for the Park Creek Fire, one of the biggest fires in the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest this year.
INCIWEB

The Helena-Lewis and Clark Forest lifted all fire related closures today. Several other national forests in Montana reduced fire restrictions or closures over the last several weeks. 

Mike Wheelock, president of Merlin, Oregon-based Grayback Forestry in Missoula Thursday
Eric Whitney

This story was updated at 3:30pm.

Trenton Johnson was on just his second assignment for Oregon-based Grayback Forestry when he was struck by a falling tree.

A birds-eye view looking north into the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
Josh Burnham

At a ranch near Seeley Lake Wednesday, U.S. Senator Jon Tester announced he is introducing the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act. The bill would protect nearly 80,000 acres of wilderness and develop a comprehensive trail plan to provide recreationists with access to the Lolo National Forest. This would include opening some areas to snowmobiling and protecting access for mountain biking.

Copper King Fire burning on July 31, 2016
Inciweb

The Copper King Fire, detected Sunday eight miles east of Thompson Falls, grew from 200 to 700 acres by Monday. The fire is visible from Highway 200. Its cause remains unknown.

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