Posted: Jul 9, 2012 8:23 PM by Katy Harris - KAJ News
Updated: Jul 10, 2012 6:48 AM
KALISPELL- The temperatures in northwest Montana are on the rise and so is fire danger, which officials elevated to "moderate" on Monday because of the hot, dry, windy conditions in the Flathead Valley.
Jeremy Pris, a fire program manager, said When you combine those conditions together, the fuels in the valley will dry out quickly.
"With the abundant spring moisture we had, we're still at least a week out, and it can dry out very quickly, but it will take a little longer than normal to get here," Pris said.
Now that fire danger has been raised to moderate there's a few things to keep in mind, especially since half of fires in the state are caused by human activity.
Officials say in the moderate fire danger designation, you should make sure your campfires are completely out before leaving them unattended.
You should also be careful when grinding and welding around dried out fuels like grass and weeds.
Even a vehicle dragging a chain can spark a fire along side roads.
"At this point it's just a heightened awareness that fire season is rising, the fuels are drying out," Pris said. "Fire season will get here, it's just delayed compared to normal years.
When the Flathead Valley hits the "high" fire danger mark, the firefighters sent to battle fires on the east side of the state will be brought home.