Leaf collection will begin in Missoula soon, but Missoula Street Superintendent Brian Hensel hopes folks will get to work on their yards before then.

"On Monday, October 31, we will be starting in area one," Hensel said. "What we would like to ask of all the areas, but especially area one, if they could start raking up their leaves out before the first day. A lot of the time we will see folks wait, and then they'll see our equipment and rush out... it's just a lot better for everyone if they have the leaves raked up first."

Area one encompasses pretty much everything north of the Clark Fork River, after that street crews will move to the heart of Missoula, then west of Reserve street until finishing in the south hills area.

Crews are hoping the leaves are piled up in a specific way.

"We don't want people to bag them, just rake your leaves up raw, we wont take them if they're bagged," Hensel said. "In a perfect world, which I know we're not in, we would like folks to put their leavesin a longer longitudinal pile close to the curb and in a way that vehicles won't park too close and certainly not on top of them."

Of course, all of the plans for leaf clean up may be cut short if snow comes early and crews have to shift from leaf cleaning to snow removal.

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