MTPR

Montana Wildfire News

Smoke from the Lolo Peak Fire fills the town of Lolo August 17, 2017.
Eric Whitney

Governor Steve Bullock announced two new grants today that will help businesses and communities that suffered losses during fire season. One grant will help tourist destinations create a marketing campaign to lure visitors back, and another will help businesses that lost inventory or customers because of fire. 

West Fork firefighter serving as a lookout for Hotshot crews working below on the Nelson Creek fire.
Inciweb

Both state and federal governments have spent a combined $378 million this year battling blazes.

This was the most expensive fire season in Montana since at least 1999, when adjusted for inflation. Montanans may need to prepare for similar wildfire seasons in the future. 

Gianforte: To Ease Wildfires, Cut Down More Trees

Sep 18, 2017
Rice Ridge Fire activity in steep terrain.
Inciweb

Republican Congressman Greg Gianforte gave a keynote address to the Montana Association of Counties today.

It was the second stop in his “forest jobs tour,” and the congressman told county commissioners the best way to stop wildfires is to cut down more trees.

Montana Wildfire Roundup For September 18, 2017

Sep 18, 2017
Reconnaissance flight on Sept. 17 for the Blacktail Fire in the Crazy Mountains.
Jade Martin, Operations Section Chief

Wet, cool weather over the weekend has helped calm fire behavior in western Montana, and some evacuation orders and warnings have been canceled this morning.

According to the Sanders County Sheriff's Office, all evacuation notices for the Highway 200 Complex fires have been lifted. All areas in the evacuation and pre-evacuation area are all now considered under pre-evacuation notice until otherwise notified by the sheriff's office.

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.

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