MTPR

wildfire

Half a year after a memorable fire season shrouded Montana in thick gray skies, burned more than a million acres and caused tens of millions of dollars in budget shortfalls, scientists at the University of Montana are saying Montanans should get used to it.

Few surviving trees remain in the changed landscape located in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area in Idaho.
Camille Stevens-Rumann

In the forests of the Rocky Mountains, fewer trees are growing back after recent wildfires because of climate change. That’s what a team of researchers discovered after studying seedling regeneration at 1,500 sites in five different states.

University of Montana fire ecology Professor Philip Higuera is a co-author of the study. He joins us now.

Glaicer Park's Logan Pass visitors center on a busy summer day.
Tom Westbrook (CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0)

Despite a smoke-filled summer, researchers from the University of Montana say that 2017 was actually a good year for the travel industry.

While almost 80 percent of businesses in northwestern Montana say they were affected by wildfires and smoke last summer, those same businesses raked in more than a billion dollars from out-of-state visitors.

The trail to Piper Creek falls within the bounds of the proposed Swan Forest Initiative’s conservation forest.
Nicky Ouellet

For more than half a decade, the Lake County Conservation District has been working on a proposal to transfer management of 60,000 acres from the Flathead National Forest to the state for the next 100 years.

The Park Creek Fire north of Lincoln, summer 2017.
Inciweb

Montana is appealing FEMA’s denial of the state's request for a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration following last year’s historic fire season.

In late December, the federal government denied Governor Bullock’s initial request for help in covering some of the $44 million in firefighting costs billed to the state at the end of last summer summer when Montana’s own fire fund was almost drained.

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