Missoula County Releases Wildfire Risk Map, New Protection Plan
Missoula County is updating its Community Wildfire Protection Plan for the first time in over a decade according to County Office of Emergency Management Director Adrienne Beck.
"Missoula County was the recipient of a grant program, which enabled us to update our existing wildfire protection plan which was first created in 2005," Beck said. "We engaged stakeholders from all the land management agencies and community members to really talk about wildfire risk in Missoula county and proactive steps we can take to reduce our risk."
The plan will be discussed at an open house this week, March 22 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. in room 151 of the Missoula Courthouse annex. Beck explains some of the big changes.
"One of the big components of this update is an updated risk and hazard assessment of Missoula County as well as a new and refreshed definition of the Wildland Urban Interface. The updated definition of the WUI is 'Any area where the combination of human development and vegetation have a potential to result in negative impacts from wildfire on the community.'"
The new definition of the Wildland Urban Interface is very broad and Beck says part of the purpose is to remind those that don't live adjacent to the forest that wildfire is still a significant risk.
For a better view of the areas facing the most wildfire risk, check out the new Wildfire Risk Map.