NewsWildfire Watch


Fire danger lowered to “High” in Missoula area

High Fire Danger
Posted at 5:07 PM, Aug 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-24 19:07:22-04

MISSOULA — The recent cooler weather and rain has prompted Missoula County fire protection agencies to lower the fire danger rating to “High”.

Fire managers note that when the fire danger is high, fires start easily from most causes and unattended brush or campfires are likely to escape. Fires will also spread rapidly.

Missoula County and all agencies with jurisdictional lands within the Missoula area will also be rescinding Stage II fire restrictions, effective Thursday, Aug. 26, at 12:01 a.m.

“Long range forecasts do indicate a potential drier warming trend after Saturday, and there is plenty of potential fire season remaining!” a news release notes.

The Missoula County Fire Protection Association (MCFPA) -- which includes members from all Missoula area fire protection agencies -- is urging people to continue to use caution when recreating outdoors.

“Abandoned campfires are a leading cause of wildfire in the Missoula area. If you are planning to head out into our public lands in the upcoming weeks, be sure to check for fire restrictions in effect across Montana," said Kristin Mortenson with the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC).

Other fire prevention tips include not parking in dry grass and crossing your trailer chains to avoid dragging and creating sparks.

When target shooting, choose an area free of vegetation or lots of rocks and don’t shoot on windy days. Avoid steel core/tip/jacketed bullets and remember that the use of exploding targets is prohibited on public lands.

Outdoor burning remains closed in Missoula County. Additional information on outdoor burning seasons, permits and current restrictions can be found here.

The fire danger is also being lowered on the Flathead Indian Reservation and on the Bitterroot National Forest.