MTPR

National Weather Service

The current forecast is on track to keep temperatures well below normal, snow in the mountains, and rain for low elevation valleys through at least late September. It will be a good time to dust off those warm clothes and rain boots.
National Weather Service Missoula

The National Weather Service says the rain and snow western Montana is getting should continue through next week, and will potentially end this year’s fire season. The agency issued a winter storm warning for most of western Montana from 9 p.m. Thursday until 6 a.m. Saturday, anticipating a dramatic change to very cold, wet weather.

Meteorologist Jenn Kitsmiller expects that will clear out smoke from the region and slow down fire activity.

This was the second driest summer on record in Montana, but meteorologists say rain is finally on the way. 

Since July, the state has seen towns threatened by wildfires and choked with smoke, crops getting killed by drought and grass fires destroying rangeland. 

But a cold and rainy system entering Montana Thursday could put at least a temporary end to the suffering.

Avalanche Gorge along the Trail of the Cedars in Glacier National Park, Montana
Glacier National Park

Fire officials on the Sprague Fire burning in Glacier National Park had good news and bad news at a public fire meeting at Park Headquarters Wednesday night. The good news, they told a standing room only crowd of more than 150 people, is that the smoke choking the Flathead Valley has also been dampening fire activity, holding the Sprague Fire at roughly 13,000 acres.

Montana Wildfire Roundup For September 1, 2017

Sep 1, 2017
Type 1 Chinook helicopter with bucket on Nelson Creek Fire
Inciweb

Governor Steve Bullock this afternoon declared a state of disaster in Montana due to wildfires. Two previous executive orders declared states of emergency. This disaster declaration allows Governor Bullock to mobilize additional state resources and more Montana National Guard troops to combat the fires. It is in conjunction with a directive to the Montana Department of Transportation that temporarily suspends certain regulations in order to make it easier to transport heavy firefighting equipment.

This is the worst fire season Montana has seen in years. The state is spending about $1.5 million dollars a day battling the blazes and meteorologists say they’re being fueled by something called a flash drought. 

Pages