Wildfire experts predicting ‘normal’ fire season this summer

Fire officials from multiple agencies brief Governor Brian Schweitzer Tuesday

Wildfire experts are predicting a ‘normal’ fire season for this summer.
Agencies ranging from the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation to the Montana National Guard gave their annual fire season briefing to Governor Brian Schweitzer.
Wildfires have already burned 30-thousand acres across Montana in 2012.
The Governor’s office says hot, dry weather this month is pushing fire risk in some areas to unseasonably high.
Meteorologist with Northern Rockies Predictive Services Mike Kreyenhagen says Montana did receive decent mountain snowpack this past winter. Still, he says the fire season depends on weather over the next few months.
“My official forecast is we are probably going to have a busy July,” Kreyenhagen said. “I think we’re going to see our typical start to our fire season. We’re going to get the grass fires out east, gonna slowly migrate north and west. If we get the rains in August and September we’ll be in fairly good shape. If we don’t, if we stay dry–I think we’ve got a chance to really pick up a lot of acres this summer.”
The Governor’s office stresses homeowners near wildlands need to do their part to protect their property even with fire crews at the ready. Officials ask homeowners to create defensible space around their homes by reducing flammable materials.

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