Fire Season Has Started with a Bang

Looking over the Madison River at the Bear Trap 2 fire.

There are lots of wildfires aka forest fires across the US right now.   Historically Montana should not get be in fire season yet.   Our normal fire season starts in late July  after the grasses have cured and the spring rains have stopped.   This year spring rains never developed, we had early hot spells and everything dried out way too soon.  Just last week we were slammed into fire season.  We had been hot,dry and windy,  and in just a few days we had six fires break out.   These fires broke out during a weather system where the winds were blowing sustained speeds of  30-40 mph, with gusts as high as 75 mph.   These fires went from zero to thousands of acres in hours.   I can’t imagine a a fire that moves that fast.    My heart breaks for all those folks who lived in those areas, who had to leave their homes; many not yet knowing if there is anything to go back to.  Thanks  to firefighters, first-responders, and others  who are doing the best they can to fight these fires with resources that are spread thin by the number of fires we have right now and shrinking budgets on county, state and federal levels.  A heaping sense of gratitude to those families who support all those out there on the front lines and the support positions; we appreciate you sharing your special person with us and missing birthdays, games and other family functions to help strangers they may never know.

I hope this early summer is followed by an early fall.  If it wants to start tomorrow that is ok with me. Unfortunately tonight we had storms with very little moisture, lots of lightning, and they are calling for hot weather again.