Weather Wise: Early Fire Season

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Dry conditions across the county have fire fighters gearing up for what they say they fear could be an early fire season.

In this week's Weather Wise, we look into on our current weather conditions and how they relate to fire our fire season.

The weather conditions are extremely dry, with some days having humidity only measuring in the teens.  East Valley Fire Chief, Dave Sammons says fire fighters are comparing this year's seasons to last's years dangerous fire season.

"We're comparing ourselves to the fire of last year and condition wise were almost mirror images of what we had last year.”

Baxondale Fire Chief, John Alexander says unseasonably warm weather and a lack of water are what's causing the dangerous conditions.

"The runoff is not coming down.  The creeks, the flows are down and the water; we're in deep trouble."

Alexander says the amount of precipitation we're receiving isn't enough to help alleviate these dry conditions.

"It would take 6.5 inches of rain to get the under level duff back to a standard point, so I don’t see 6.5 inches coming anytime soon.”

But John Grassy with the DNRC says May and June are the two months the Helena Valley receives the most rain.  He says there is still time to get more moisture.

"There's still time and reason to be hopeful that we're going to get precipitation more on the normal level to bring the fire danger back to standard levels."

But for now, only time will tell.

Story by Kelley Smith, Beartooth NBC.
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Copyright ©2013 Beartooth Communications Company. All Rights Reserved.



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Tagged as:

DNRC, East Valley Fire Department, John Grassy, Early Fire Season, dangerous fire season, precipitation, Baxondale Fire Department

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