Dry Conditions Increase Forest Fire Danger
The mild winter, the recent heatwaves and the lack of spring rainfall has caused the Bitterroot National Forest to dry out unusually early this year.
Fire management officer Rick Floch said that all spring prescribed fires have been postponed, due to the dry conditions.
Flock said, "Fire danger indicators are at an all-time high for this time of year due to the unusually warm weather and rapid snowpack melt."
He also cautioned people to use extreme care when building campfires in the forest, and burning slash and other debris around their homes on their property.
Abandoned campfires have been a problem, too. Fire crews have found still-burning campfires in recent weeks. That can lead to a fine of up to $5,000. An abandoned campfire could start a wildlife in these dry days.