The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation Central Land Office reports their crews along with the support of county volunteers and U.S. Forest Service wildland firefighters, suppressed 17 lightning-ignited wildfires in the Helena valley since Tuesday evening.
“We are grateful for the support of our partners in the firefighting efforts,” said John Huston, DNRC Area Fire Management Officer. “While the fires over the last few days were from a natural ignition, it is a good reminder for us all that we are moving into the peak of our fire season.”
DNRC says the fires were each less than one acre in size and were quickly suppressed. Two of the fires were in remote areas where crews had to be transported via helicopter to suppress them.
Huston cautions that recent precipitation temporarily eased fire danger, but long-term drought persists. He notes that heavier, larger fuels remain dry, and the fire danger rating in Helena is now at Moderate.
The Central Land Office has brought in additional resources from other areas of the state to provide support given the recent fires and a forecast for hot and dry weather with lightning through the holiday weekend.
“Our goal is to quickly bring wildfires under control to protect our community and natural resources. Having additional firefighting resources available will help us do that, but we all need to do our part to reduce human-caused wildfires, especially as we go into the Fourth of July holiday weekend,” said Huston.
DNRC asks that people take extra care when using fireworks and only where it is legal to do so. Individuals should also check trailer chains; and make sure campfires are dead out.