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Here It Comes Again – Western Montana Fills with Smoke

Moe Fire
A smoky photo of the Moe Fire last week. (USFS Photo)
The weather remains dry. Hamilton is into record territory for lack of rainfall – way over 40 days, now. And the high pressure ridge has built over the area again.

The result – forest fire smoke.

Even though the McGuire Fire and the Mustang Fire managers have been relaxing evacuation and road closure orders, the fires continue to burn in the unseasonably hot and dry conditions.

The Moe Fire, west of Lake Como, has been burning in both Idaho and Montana. There are a number of fires in Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness that continue to be active.

The Powell Complex of fires on the north end of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness is now estimated at 66,000 acres – with most of the growth in the Fern and Cedar Fires on the eastern side of the wilderness. The smoke has again hidden the mountains in the Bitterroot and Missoula valleys, and even north of Evaro Hill.

A reminder to hunters – be very careful with fire when you’re out in the woods. No campfires, except in Forest Service campgrounds, and be careful where you park that vehicle with its hot exhaust system. Tall, dry grass can be the start of wildfire.

Air quality in Hamilton has been “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” Monday and the cumulative readings for 8-hour and 24-hour have been “Unhealthy.”

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