Missoula Hits “High” Fire Danger A Month Early
A warm winter and an early, windy spring have pushed Missoula County into a high fire danger scenario earlier than expected.
"It is one month earlier than we did last year," said Missoula County Fire Protection Association Spokesman Chris Johnson. "We changed the fire danger to high, going immediately from low and bypassing moderate. This persistent wind has dried stuff out to the point now, where if we get a wildfire started in a cured cheat-grass situation, it is resistant to firefighters in an initial attack."
Johnson says the increased fire danger will bring a restriction.
"The only thing that triggered, is that we have closed outdoor burning by permit. We do that when we get to high fire danger each year." Johnson said. "It is not an air quality issue, the air quality has been pretty good in Missoula this year, but we closed burning by permit just due to high fire danger."
If fire danger increases to "Very high" or "Extreme" restrictions will be placed on campfires and when work can be done in the woods, but for now, outdoor burning is the only restriction.