All Weather News

NWS Talks Drought, Fire Concerns in Montana

24 Jul 2017, 1:18 pm

The Lodgepole fire has 226,000 acres burning in the central region of Montana, and the National Weather Service says that there is hardly any containment whatsoever.

Meteorologist Andy Stein talked to Brad Mickelson at the NWS in Glasgow Monday morning about the conditions across the state.

Mickelson explained that the variation in winds is a problem for crews who are working to fight these fires.

“The winds are shifting almost on a daily basis and whatever personnel they get on this fire, they keep sending them to the front lines and trying to get a handle on it as best they can, but it is very difficult in that remote country,” Mickelson said.

The Lodgepole fire is just one of reportedly 18 fires burning across the state.

While they do not know the cause of the fire, officials are working to investigate.

So far this year, 4.5 million acres have been burned across the United States.

While fires are a big problem in the state, the NWS says that they are also worried about the drought conditions across the region.

Mickelson explained that there is a pretty significant drought in their area.

“The northeast corner and the central-eastern portions of Montana are under extreme to exceptional drought conditions,” Mickelson said. “We haven’t see it this bad in several decades.”

Weather observing sites near the fire are recording that there is about 35% of normal precipitation on the calendar year so far.

“We need several inches more of rain, and there is no relief in sight at this time,” Mickelson said. “The situation is enough that we need quite a bit more rain to catch up.”

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