MTPR

Montana Wildfire News

Belt Creek, in the Little Belt Mountains, Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest
Eric Whitney

The Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest is hosting their annual open house next week in White Sulphur Springs.

"It’s mainly just to invite the public in to talk about projects that we’ve been working on over the years, but also projects that we have planned field work going on this upcoming summer," Kathy Bushnell, a spokesperson for the Forest says. 

Routine maintenance on BAe-146 firefighting plane at Neptune Aviation in Missoula, MT.
Edward O'Brien

The U.S. Forest Service has scaled back the number of firefighting aircraft that might be available this summer. Edward O'Brien explores on what that might mean for Montana.

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

Today the U.S. House passed the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill with strong bipartisan support. It funds the federal government through September. The bill now heads to the Senate where NPR says it is also likely to pass with bipartisan support.

Wednesday, Montana's Republican Senator Steve Daines said there's good news for the Treasure State in the spending bill.

The Rice Ridge Fire seen from Seeley Lake on August 1, 2017.
Eric Whitney

There will be no more so-called "fire-borrowing" from the U.S. Forest Service if the big federal spending bill Congress is working on passes. 

Both of Montana's U.S. Senators confirmed today that the spending bill expected to be voted on this week fundamentally changes how America pays to fight wildfires

A closeup satellite image shows a thick layer of wildfire smoke covering Idaho and Montana, September 4, 2017.
NOAA

Montana researchers who are looking into the impact of wildfire smoke on people's health, and on firefighters' resiliency updated the public on their work Tuesday at the University of Montana. 

Dr. Paul Smith is a professor of medicine at UM, and a pediatric pulmonologist. 

"Anecdotally, this is one of the worse seasons we've had at Community Medical Center for kids being admitted and on ventilators. Our floor has just been chock full this season. And, you wonder," said Smith. 

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