Here’s a note from Allen Chrisman…
Here is the latest Wildland Fire Outlook. Just as we have seen, our part of Montana has had a slower than normal fire season due to the recurrent moisture we have received that has kept our live fuel moistures up:
The entire Northern Rockies fire season thus far has been characterized by a lack of extreme heat or dryness, especially this past August. Periods of showers and thunderstorms arrived every 5 days or so. This pattern produced considerable lightning across the NRGA, but moisture inputs have been sufficient to offset the few dry, windy episodes that have occurred.
Going into early September, warmer and drier weather is expected, especially over the western half of the geographic area. For September, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center’s outlook favors drier than average conditions for the NRGA, but a split between warmer than average West of the Continental Divide – and cooler than average East of the Divide. Longer-term projections continue this trend at least through September. Then in October and November, near average temperature and precipitation are expected across the entire district. December may bring cooler and wetter than average weather east of the Continental Divide.
Despite the recent precipitation, conditions will need monitoring, if warm dry conditions persist for five consecutive days (or greater) in September. Even with average precipitation, fire potential can quickly increase through the month of September or into early October, especially during windy periods that can dry fine fuels.
So, we aren’t out of the woods yet – but we are so much better off than we have been the last couple of years.