MISSOULA – Hot and dry weather in the forecast prompted a bump in Missoula County fire danger from low to moderate earlier this week.
Missoula County Fire Protection Association Wildland Fire officials are looking at the likelihood of afternoon highs in the 90s on Thursday and Friday as the catalyst for fire conditions to be elevated to “moderate”.
Much like last summer, long-range projections are for warmer and drier than normal conditions early to mid-July. In addition, the period outdoor permit burning has been closed.
“It’s just a precautionary step. It’s progressing that way toward conditions with the hotter, drier weather, grasses cure, vegetation dries out a little bit, and there’s potential for fires," explained Jordan Koppen with the DNRC Southwestern Land Office.
The fire danger has also hiked to "moderate" on the Flathead Reservation and the Bitterroot National Forest.