MISSOULA — Hot and dry weather conditions have brought an increase in fire danger from 'high' to 'very high' in both the Missoula and Flathead County.
The designation of Very High danger is the result of decreasing fuel moistures and higher burning indices meaning fire starts are much easier from all causes, a more immediate ignition, a more rapid spread, and increased intensity in fires.
There are no new fire restrictions at this time, but that could change if conditions continue to deteriorate. Residents and visitors are urged to use extra caution when outdoors and make decisions knowing that any small spark could lead to a rapidly spreading fire.
DNRC Fire Prevention Public Relations Director, Kristin Mortenson says, “Maybe not mowing after ten o’clock in the morning, letting your grass grow a little bit higher, trimming weeds with a line trimmer that is not going to be sparking a rock like a mower might if you’re pushing it through tall grass.”
More than sixty-percent of Missoula area fires are human-caused, and Mortenson reminds us that, while we can’t regulate the lightning, we can control our sparks.