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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.

Montana Wildfire News podcast

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Word-Play As A Solution To Western Wildfires

Aug 15, 2014

The 2014 Western wildfire season got an early start with large fires in Washington and Oregon that left those living in Western Montana gagging on the resulting smoke that seemed to be continuously recycled through our valleys. As the summer progresses, we all have our fingers crossed that our own home-grown wildfires will not re-create the “nuclear winter” of thick smoke blocking out the sun at mid-day that we have had to live through in summers past.

USFS

Lightning storms have kindled several fires in the greater Flathead area, but rain coming with those storms has kept fire danger in check.

Information Officer Wade Muehlhof for the Northwest Zone for Fire Restrictions says most activity has centered on the North Fork of the Flathead River.

8/05/14, 2:20 p.m.
Colorado Gulch Fire update: Fire officials with the Lolo National Forest say the Colorado Gulch fire, located just northwest of Missoula in the Grant Creek Valley, has been contained. The fire started at approximately 4 p.m. Monday and a combination of ground crews and water dropped from helicopters limited the fire to 2 1/2 acres. No structures have been damaged.
 

Fire Season Information

Jul 11, 2014
HB-481 would allow counties to have the initial attack authority on wildfires.
National Park Service

Here are links and phone numbers for up-to-date information about fire season in the Northern Rockies, including restrictions and closures, and local air quality.

Firewise - be proactive in making your home or landscape safer from wildfire http://www.firewise.org/wildfire-preparedness/be-firewise/home-and-landscape.aspx

Montana DNRC

It's July, it's getting hot and the forecast is calling for very warm temperatures by week's end.

It's with this in mind that the Missoula County Fire Protection Association has restricted open burning as of today.

Burning permits for Missoula County cannot be activated until this restriction is lifted.

MCFPA chairman, Matt Hall, says the hot, dry weather of the past week - combined with the forecast for more of the same for at least another week - will continue to dry out fuels.

Bob Nichols, USDA

Growing up on the Mescalero Apache Indian reservation in New Mexico, Arthur "Butch" Blazer hunted and fished and spent all his time outdoors. He translated that love of the outdoors into a career, as a natural resources manager with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, then as the first Native American appointed state forester for New Mexico, and now as the Deputy Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment for the U.S. Department of Agriculture - where he oversees the U.S. Forest Service.

As U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack is in charge of a lot more than the nation's food policy. His agency also oversees management of our national forests, and as a member of the Cabinet, he advises the president on everything from the farm bill - to the impacts of climate change.

In this feature interview, Vilsack talks with News Director Sally Mauk about those issues and more - starting with why he thinks the Affordable Care Act is a good deal for rural Americans.

 

Sally Mauk

In over three decades of fighting fire, studying fire and crafting fire management policy, Tom Zimmerman has seen a lot of changes in fire behavior and control. Zimmerman has worked with fire for the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the U.S Forest Service - and most recently, at the  National Interagency Fire Center in Boise.

Sally Mauk

Wayne Williams started fighting wildfires in 1974, and became a smokejumper in 1977.

Over his 40 year career, the now-retired Missoula smokejumper was mentored by - and himself mentored - many other wildland firefighters.

Williams was part of the team that recovered the bodies of 14 firefighters who died fighting the South Canyon fire on Storm King mountain in Colorado in 1994. That incident prompted several changes in firefighting safety protocols and strategy.

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