MISSOULA - Increasing temperatures and drying vegetation are prompting local fire protection agencies have raised the fire danger in Missoula County to "high."
Officials note that when fire danger is high, dry grasses and needles ignite easily and fires can spread rapidly and may be difficult to control. Unattended campfires are likely to escape, and high-intensity burning is likely to occur on slopes and concentrated grassy areas.
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“Spring and early summer rains have provided us with plenty of grasses and ‘flashy’ fuels that are now starting to dry and cure, increasing the likelihood of a fire start growing quickly and becoming a much more complex, larger wildfire," said Lolo National Forest Fire Staff Officer Colt Mortenson.
Fire officials note that on average, three out of every four wildfires in Missoula County are human-caused and people are being urged to use caution. Additionally, equipment and vehicle sparks were a primary cause of wildfires in 2021, so also be careful when mowing, haying, or dragging a trailer.
Outdoor burning season is now closed in Missoula County, so any burn permits are now invalid. Visit https://mcfpa.org/ for additional information.
Visit https://www.mtfireinfo.org/ for more information on fire restrictions across Montana.