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Predicted warmer, drier summer could impact Montana wildfire season

Plains Wildfire.jpg
Posted at 9:39 AM, May 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-05 12:48:33-04

HELENA — Time is speeding right along and before you know it, summer will be here and that means fire season.

Montana is currently in good shape, but a few changes could put our current status up in smoke.

Snowpack in the higher terrain continues to stay above average.

More snow on the ground and a slow melt off will keep moisture in the mountains and forests, theoretically suppressing fire danger.

Following a drier than normal winter there are a few locations in the state that are technically "dry" on the drought monitor, but nowhere in Montana is under official drought status.

The 90-day outlook from June through August shows a likelihood of above-average temperature and below-average precipitation.

A hot and dry summer could easily negate the current snowpack and recent moisture.

Montanans should remain vigilant and use this time right now to create defensible space around homes especially if living in the wildland-urban interface