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Vigilance urged as Northwest Montana fire danger rises - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Vigilance urged as Northwest Montana fire danger rises

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KALISPELL -- The fire danger has been elevated to "extreme" across most of northwest Montana as our hot and dry weather continues. While it may cool down this weekend, high winds are also expected.

"The northwest part of the state it's been about 35-days since we've had significant widespread moisture in the area and our fuels are showing the effects of that," said Montana DNRC Northwest Land Office Area Fire Manager Wyatt Frampton.

"If you imagined random pieces of wood out in the forest right now they're about as dry as what you would want to load into your fireplace during the winter," he added.

With any spark having the potential to ignite, interagency fire managers have brought in additional resources to help battle wildfires -- including two Super Scoopers stationed in Kalispell.

"Additional helicopters the Providence of Saskatchewan has sent us down two Super Scoopers and we have also brought in additional firefighters from across the country on engines and in hand crews as well," Frampton explained.

The additional resources were brought in to prepare for lightning-caused fires but fire managers are also asking the public to be vigilant to help prevent human-caused fires which spread those resources thin.

"In the event that we do have lightning caused and human-caused fires at the same time, it's going to deplete the number of resources we can send to both types of incidents but we do know human-caused fires happen," Frampton told MTN News.

While fire danger conditions may be "extreme" across northwest Montana, not all areas are in fire restrictions at this time. Glacier National Park remains the exception where fire danger is "very high" as the Park received some rain within the past week.

Click here to check out the latest fire restrictions.

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