STATE AGENCIES WARN OF "LARGE FIRE POTENTIAL AND EXTREME FIRE BEHAVIOR" OVER WEEKEND

 

The Sun Times has obtained a warning sent out by Montana's DNRC, Disaster and Emergency Services and other agencies encouraging "All area Fire and Emergency Services Organizations" to prepare for "large fire response" over the weekend over the next few weeks."

"The stage has been set for a very active three to four-day period of fire behavior in the Northern Rockies area without relief in the near future," the statement reads. "A passing cold frontal system will likely bring critical fire conditions to the area and may enable current and new fires to grow significantly. All fire departments and Counties are encouraged to prepare now for how they will respond to a fire or to help other response organizations." (emphasis added)

The Sun Times reviewed the letter with a veteran firefighter, and asked if they had seen a directive like this in the past. "No," the firefighter said.

According to a section of the report labeled "Situation Report,"

• Numerous large and uncontained fires are burning throughout the entire area

....

• Any new fires that start may grow rapidly

• Existing fires will be difficult to control

• The period from June to August 2017, is now the warmest on record

• Fire danger has reached a new maximum for this time of year

• There are little to no additional resources available