The Weather Has Cooled, but Wildfires Still Rage in Montana
HELENA – September 13, 2018
Despite the cooling of the weather, the wildfires in the North-West and in the state of Montana in particular keeps on being difficult.
As USA Really has already reported, this summer season has been characterized by especially heavy-to-handle wildfires, and the state has had serious trouble fighting against them.
Sixteen wildland fires are burning across Montana, but for the most part the state has dodged a devastating summer fire season like last year’s.
“Thankfully we had a slower season than average,” said Ken Schmid, state fire management officer.
Schmid spoke to the Environmental Quality Council on Wednesday in Helena, giving the members a brief update on the state’s fire season. The state’s largest fires this year have been largely confined to the northwestern corner of the state, where the 14,000-acre Howe Ridge fire is burning in Glacier National Park, according to the National Interagency Fire Center’s data.
"At least in northwest Montana it was a tough fire year," said John Tubbs, director of the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC).
Next door to Glacier in the Flathead National Forest, the Whale Butte, Brownstone, Juliet, Paola Ridge and Coal Ridge fires continue to burn. The nearby Kootenai National Forest has also battled a variety of fires, the largest of which are the 1,400-acre Sterling Complex, the 6,600-acre Davis fire and the 6,200-acre Gold Hill fire.
“Despite a slow start, we did have quite a bit of fire activity in southwest Montana,” said Michael DeGrosky, bureau chief of fire protection for the DNRC.