MTPR

wildfire

Firefighters and fire truck.
BLM (CC-BY-2.0)

Montana has just over $4 million in its firefighting reserve fund at the start of what’s expected to be ripe conditions for a substantial fire season. That means the state is significantly short of having the cash on hand needed cover the costs of even an average season. 

But Governor Steve Bullock says fire suppression won’t be limited this season, despite depleted funding reserves.

'Field Notes:' The Fruits Of Fire

Jun 10, 2018
 A forested area 5 years after a fire.
NPS - Stephanie Metzler (PD)

Have you ever walked around in a recently burned forest? One of those areas where perhaps last summer you saw flames leaping out or smoke billowing? If not, I urge you to go out and take a look at this unique environment. I had never spent any time in a burned forest until a few years ago. I was immediately impressed with the beauty and abundant life I found in this transformed forest.

Firefighter in front of a wildfire.
(PD)


This year’s fire season is off to a slow start, but it could ramp up in July. That’s according an update Montana’s State Forester gave to state lawmakers Wednesday.

Ceanothus: Life From The Kiss Of Fire

May 26, 2018
Ceanothus velutinus, a plant with more common names than zip codes in California.
Walter Siegmund (CC-BY-SA-3)

Thirty-plus years ago when I was studying wildlife management at Oregon State University, we learned that Ceanothus was a highly preferred forage plant for deer and elk during the winter. I knew that Ceanothus was the genus name of a large group of western shrubs and I even knew enough to recognize a few of the individual species back then.

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.

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