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Recent moisture has lowered the risk of significant wildfires ⁠— for now

Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlook as of June 1, 2022.
National Interagency Fire Center
Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlook as of June 1, 2022.

Potential for significant wildland fire is anticipated to be normal this June, according to the latest forecast from the National Interagency Fire Center.

Recent moisture has decreased the risk of wildfires across Montana. However, that could change later this summer, especially in areas east of the Continental Divide.

In the Northern Rockies overall, the generally cool, wet spring has dampened the current risk of significant wildfire.

Vegetation growth is off to a late start and is expected to reduce significant fire risk for the next couple of weeks. As summer wears on, though, the risk of significant fire ramps up to ‘above average’ east of the Continental Divide due to persistent drought, curing fuels and potentially above normal temperatures.

Western Montana’s wildfire potential is a little more uncertain due to the possibility of a longer-lasting snowpack and adequate precipitation, according to NIFC’s outlook.

That’s no guarantee of a quiet fire season for western Montana. Experts will monitor June’s temperature and precipitation trends for a potential change to western Montana's late-summer fire outlook.

The public is asked to do its part to prevent unnecessary fire starts.

No significant fire activity occurred last month throughout the Northern Rockies.

Copyright 2022 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

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