Edward O'Brien

Edward O'Brien is Montana Public Radio's Associate News Director.

Wildland firefighting is a team effort. California has helped Montana during wildfire crises, and now Montana is returning the favor.

California’s fires have consumed tens of thousands of acres and forced thousands to flee their homes. With their resources stretched thin and firefighters battling fatigue, incident commanders reached out for help Sunday.

According to Montana’s child protective services division, there are about 3,800 children in the state’s foster care system. State officials say a new federal program could reduce that number by, in part, treating behavioral health issues within families.

Any remaining hope for a gradual, easy transition from summer to winter is fading fast.

Another wintery weather system – the third this fall, for those keeping track – is at moving south out of British Columbia into northwestern and west-central Montana.

A Missoula-based fire aviation company is helping battle a massive wildfire in the heart of Northern California wine country.

Five of Neptune Aviation’s nine jet tankers are hitting the Kincade Fire with retardant drops to help slow its spread.

President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria has earned condemnation from Montana’s entire congressional delegation.

The Montana Supreme Court today ruled that a Missoula ordinance that would have expanded background checks to private gun sales violates state law. The opinion overturns a lower court’s ruling, and sides with Attorney General Tim Fox's position. 

The Montana Democratic Party will soon start searching for a new executive director. Monica Lindeen will step down from her post as executive director of the Montana Democratic Party by year’s end.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock’s order to temporarily halt the sale of flavored e-cigarettes will not go into effect next week after all. On Friday, a state district judge blocked the administration’s move until a hearing later this month.

Montana vape shop retailers last week vowed to challenge Bullock’s order to temporarily halt the sale of flavored e-cigs. They made good on that promise in a Thursday court filing, and State District Judge Jennifer Lint of Hamilton has backed them up, at least for now.

It’s fall and that means it’s prescribed fire season in Montana. Wildland managers are now intentionally setting fires to reduce forest fuel buildup or to restore native vegetation.

Two prescribed wildfire operations just north of Missoula produced dense smoke that degraded air quality to unhealthy levels Wednesday night into Thursday morning. As weather forecasters predicted though, a cold front pushed into the region Thursday afternoon, increasing winds which helped dissipate the smoke.

Superintendent, Journalists React To Helena Bomb Scare Confusion

Class resumed Wednesday at a Helena elementary school that was evacuated after a bomb scare Tuesday. No bomb detonated and no one was injured.

MTPR's Edward O’Brien reports on the aftermath of the unusual day for both the school and Montana journalists.

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