MTPR

Mark Finney

Goat Creek and Sliderock fires, July 23, 2017.
Inciweb

Even as floodwaters submerge swaths of western Montana, fire scientists and land managers are thinking a season ahead to when fires will bloom on the landscape.

They’re trying to educate the public about a paradoxical concept: Putting fire back on the landscape to avoid smokey summers like last year.

Sen. Daines at Chessman Reservoir with federal, state and local forest officials.
Steve Jess

Steve Jess is on the road, a few miles south of Helena, trailing a convoy carrying Senator Steve Daines and an assortment of local officials. They travel down about 20 miles of dirt road and the occasional cattle guard to a site just yards from the Chessman reservoir, where many of the surrounding hills bear the corpses of lodgepole pines killed by the mountain pine beetle.