Flathead Co. fire managers share insight on fire season outlook

Posted at 4:39 PM, Jul 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-02 18:39:45-04

KALISPELL – When it comes to preparing for fire season, fire season managers say they always prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

In northwest Montana, fire managers shared insight at an informational meeting on the fire outlook this season.

“We could a quarter-inch rain every other week through August and it wouldn’t be much,” said Flathead County Fire Manager Lincoln Chute. “For us, we’re going to plan on it might be a little drier than normal, it might be a little warmer than normal, which would possibly increase the fire chances and the fire behavior.”

While Chute says fire managers can’t prepare for things like rain or lightning, he says there are some indicators they have to see how the fire season might play out.

He says they use historic data to see where we’re at at a point in time now and compare it to previous years.

He says they also can look at the forecasted weather to predict what it might be like.

Chute says some of those indicators show the region is in for a late fire season in July and August that could be extreme, but it depends how the weather plays out.

“If we don’t get rain for two or three weeks four weeks and the temperatures come up and we have had a lot of wind and it stays the fire danger could increase rapidly, right now we’re about average, so we will have to wait and see what the weather does,” said Chute.

Though they can’t control Mother Nature with your help Fire managers are asking to help control human-caused fires – many of which are left campfires. Chute says people should responsible and make sure they’re completely out.