Oct 3, 2017

A Million Acres Scorched by Montana Wildfires

Montana
USA
by
Dana Rogge
,
USDA
Fires blaze from the Blacktail Fire, located in the Blacktail Creek area, east of Loco Mountain in the Crazy Mountains, in Montana. The Blacktail Fire engulfed a little over 5,000 acres, with over 1 million acres impacted across Montana through various wildfires.
Fires blaze from the Blacktail Fire, located in the Blacktail Creek area, east of Loco Mountain in the Crazy Mountains, in Montana. The Blacktail Fire engulfed a little over 5,000 acres, with over 1 million acres impacted across Montana through various wildfires.

Dry conditions plagued Montana this summer, with multiple wildfires torching over 1 million acres throughout the state. The largest fire, the Lodgepole Complex fire, impacted over 270,000 acres. Recent rain and snow, and the forecast for continued precipitation, help to suppress the fires and provide welcome relief for Montana residents.

Fires aren’t too uncommon in Montana, but this year’s fire season has been different. Spring brought plenty of moisture from an abundant snow-pack and provided adequate moisture for grass growth. The moisture quickly depleting leaving most of the state in drought condition.

“Ranchers saw this as great grass and feed. Firefighters saw it as fuel,” said Dennis Garcia, Farm Service Agency (FSA) county executive director for Glacier County, Montana. Garcia was activated to serve in the National Guard during the wildfire suppression efforts near Lolo, Montana.