I thought it was a little odd that in the first week of October, the National Weather Service was once again calling for hazy conditions in Missoula today (Tuesday).

True, it was a very dry, smoky summer in the west. And just because the calendar flipped another page does not mean there can't be some issues with forest fires still flaring up.

But one other contributing factor, depending on the way the wind blows, could be what's going on in the Whitefish Mountain area today. Apparently conditions have aligned for them to blow off some smoke. So, a look to the north/northwest might contain the answer.

Forest Service officials announced that the Tally Lake Ranger District is planning to conduct prescribed burns in areas directly adjacent to the Whitefish Mountain Resort. The smoke from these burns will be highly visible from around the Flathead Valley and perhaps beyond.

Careful evaluations of environmental conditions such as weather, relative humidity, fuel moisture and smoke dispersion have aligned for the opportunity to successfully achieve the desired objectives for prescribed burns in the area. The purpose of these burns is to protect the municipal watershed by introducing controlled fire that would reduce the chance for high intensity wildfire in the future.

Kind of tough to argue with a strategy intended to reduce the risk and severity of large-scale fires next to an electronic site. In addition to these protections, there would be increased resilience to insect and disease, improve wildlife species habitat, and aid in restoration of certain species of pine.

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.