MTPR

Montana Wildfire News

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.

Sally Mauk

Our warming climate is changing the forests of the American West - making them more susceptible to disease and to fire. Years of fire suppression have also built up forest fuels, causing the fires to be more intense and harder to control.

Sally Mauk

Western Montana's fire danger is back to a "low" rating, there's been plenty of rain recently - even some high-elevation snow in western Montana. The 2013 fire season is essentially behind us.

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