It was so smokey today I couldn’t even see the mountains or the surrounding hillsides. I think its time for my annual southern retreat. I also couldn’t breathe and the eyes felt like they were on fire. Coming home from fishing a huge fire had one hillside consumed and it was getting ugly.

Due to record levels of dryness across Montana forests, fire managers have elevated the wildfire danger risk to “extreme.” The potential for fire starts and rapid growth, as measured by indexes like “100-hour fuel moisture,” is unprecedented according to the fire managers responsible for setting the wildfire risk level.

All current fires on the Lolo National Forest are lightning-caused, and fire managers are encouraged that the public is taking due precaution given the fire risk. A fire complex, from lightening last Friday evening, continues to burn near St. Regis, on the Superior Ranger District. A number of fire starts were detected near Rock Creek on the Missoula Ranger District today from a lightning storm last night.

The fires near Rock Creek are staffed, with a type-2 fire crew working at Ambrose Saddle along with helicopter support. Four retardant drops were also made at Ambrose Saddle, and the fire is holding steady at 2 acres.

The safety and lives of the firefighters depend on the public following the stage 1 fire restrictions, in effect as of last Saturday morning.

Source: Clark Fork Chronicle

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