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Montana Wildfire News

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Active Montana wildfires: Inciweb Montana.

Restrictions, closures, air quality info, and emergency services: Fire Season Information.

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Job seekers with the U.S. Forest Service got a bit of good news today: the agency has been cleared to hire seasonal temporaries.

Seasonal temporaries could be considered the "face of the Forest Service" — they're trail maintenance workers, engineers, backcountry rangers, says Elizabeth Slown, spokesperson for the Northwest Region of the Forest Service.

A Neptune Aviation air tanker arrives in Santiago, Chile.
Courtesy Neptune Aviation/Dan Snyder.

A Montana aviation company has joined an international effort to suppress catastrophic wildfires in Chile. The Chilean wildfires have killed 11 and caused over $300 million in damage since they started burning in earnest about three weeks ago.

While they’re mostly under control right now, the wildfires are being described as the worst in the country’s history. And that’s how Missoula-based Neptune Aviation got involved according to company CEO Ron Hooper.

The Roaring Lion fire burning five miles southwest of Hamilton, MT, July 31, 2016.
Inciweb

Forty-five acres of trees killed by a major wildfire last summer are slated for harvest. The Bitterroot National Forest today announced it’s moving forward on the salvage project in the Roaring Lion draining southwest of Hamilton.

Eric Whitney

On Wednesday night, 75 people crowded into the Swan Lake Club House to hear a first of its kind in Montana proposal that would transfer management of some National Forest land to the state.

The body of a veteran Blackfeet firefighter has been returned to Montana from North Carolina.

Nov. 30 marks the end of open burning season in Montana.
Karl Nousiainen

Wednesday marks the end of open burning season in Montana. 

Dozens of fires burning in the Rocky Mountains in Montana were detected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite on the afternoon of August 19, 2003. In the image, fire locations have been marked in yellow. The fi
Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Last week a senior advisor to President-elect Trump said funding for NASA Earth sciences work should be cut dramatically, or just ended. Former Pennsylvania Congressman Robert Walker made those comments in the Guardian newspaper.

For perspective on what that would mean, Amy Martin talked to the chairman of the Earth Science Subcommittee for NASA’s Advisory Council. The chairman is Steve Running, who is a regent’s professor of ecology at the University of Montana. She asked Running if big cuts to NASA Earth sciences have been proposed in the past.

3 Men Deny Negligent Arson Charges For Roaring Lion Fire

Nov 18, 2016
Roaring Lion Fire hours after it blew up on July 31, 2016.
Inciweb

HAMILTON, Mont. (AP) — Three 18-year-old Hamilton men have pleaded not guilty to negligent arson. Prosecutors alleged they failed to fully extinguish a campfire in the Bitterroot National Forest in late July that days later sparked a wildfire that burned more than 13 square miles, destroyed 16 homes and led to the evacuation of hundreds of homes.

How Devastating Are Wildfires To Deer And Elk?

Oct 28, 2016

While watching an evening newscast about Montana wildfires, I saw some TV footage of deer and elk fleeing burning areas and listened to speculation by the newscasters of how many animals might be killed during the fires. I was reminded of watching the movie Bambi as a child, and fearing for Bambi’s life as he fled that fictional wildfire many decades ago.

Live and beetle killed trees in the Helena National Forest.
Steve Jess

Local environmental groups, timber industry representatives, and state and federal agencies will meet in Missoula this week to talk about collaboration. The two-day workshop is put on by the Western Governors' Association.

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