Montana's Fire Season Update - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Montana's Fire Season Update

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ABC FOX Montana spoke to fire prevention coordinator, Crystal Beckman who gave us an update on Montana's fire season so far and talked a little bit about what to expect for the remainder of this year's fire season.

"For the state of Montana we are behind schedule as far as the number of fires we have seen in past years,” said Beckman.

Over a 5 year period, Beckman says Montana averages about 320 fires. So far this year we've seen 157, but the lower amount of fires does not mean we are in the clear.

Beckman said, "Though we may be behind on fires right now our weather and vegetation is beginning to dry out. We still have quite a bit of fire season left so we are continuously watching and monitoring."

Thunderstorms rolled through parts of Montana over the weekend causing over 20 fires.

"For the state of Montana we have had 345 lightning caused fires and we've had 623 human caused fires," explained Beckman.

With human caused fires trending to be about 60% of Montana's fires, Beckman says public awareness is extremely important.

"We're really working with public education and raising awareness about reducing those human caused fires so our firefighters can work on the naturally caused fires and manage those appropriately."

Our neighboring state, Washington has however not been so lucky. Many of our resources have been deployed to other states to provide much needed aid.

"Out of region we have 275 resources out of state,” said Beckman.

Beckman ensures Montanans though, that we have the appropriate amount of resources here in Montana in the event of a large fire.

"Currently we have approximately 600 to 650 resources committed in our Northern Rockies Region which is made up northern Idaho, Montana and parts of North and South Dakota."

Beckman did discuss a couple areas within state lines that need to be extra careful. Those areas include the southeastern corner of the state and much of the western border. So you have watch out in those areas especially due to the extremely dry conditions.