Firefighters may be busy in Montana this weekend

Conditions are starting to heat up in Montana, with the possibility of lightning through Monday, temperatures around 90, and relative humidity in the low 20s or teens.

From the Great Falls Tribune:

Montana’s fire season could finally kick in this weekend.

“We are just now entering the hotter and drier part of our season, and we have lightning in our forecast from Thursday through Sunday,” meteorologist Mike Kreyenhagen said.

“I think our fire season is just about to begin,” said Kreyenhagen, the predictive services meteorologist for the U.S. Forest Service in Missoula.

Still, it’s getting off to a late start. In 2002, fire crews were getting called out in April. This year, much like last year, has been one of erratic fire weather. It started with good snowpack in the mountains, but May was warmer and drier. June was cooler and wetter, with good moisture over the Fourth of July weekend.

Given all that, Kreyenhagen is predicting an average fire season.

“We should have about 1,700 fires, and we should burn about 420,000 acres,” he said.

He said the northern tier of Montana is a little drier than usual, while the southern tier is a little wetter.


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