Missoula County in Extreme Fire Danger After Nearly 20 Human Caused Fires in One Week
Missoula County has now reached the highest fire danger level possible with a new “extreme” fire danger declaration by the Missoula County Fire Protection Association.
MCFPA Spokesman Chris Johnson says human caused fires are stretching firefighting resources to the limit.
“I work for Lolo National Forest and specifically we have had six up on the Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribal Grounds,” said Johnson. “They had 13 human caused fires last week. It is something that the public has to help us out with. We are responding very effectively to all of them right now, but throw in the work load of some lightening strikes and we will be stretched very thin.”
This year’s fire season is on pace to be one of the worst in recent memory.
“This year, compared to last year, we are about a month ahead of the conditions that we had in 2012,” said Johnson. “Those of your listeners who remember 2007 when we had the Blackcat Fire in Missoula and the Jocko Lakes Fire up in Seely Lake, those conditions are really, essentially mirrored right now on our national forest and through out Missoula county.”
The extreme fire danger designation will help in bringing out-of-state fire fighting resources to Missoula county, however, Johnson says that even those resources may be difficult to come by with all of the extreme fires raging in multiple states.