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Aug 31, 2009 6:48 PM

Missoula Co. fire danger again 'high'

Fire officials with the Missoula County Fire Protection Association have pushed the fire danger level to "High" due to a combination of warmer and drier temperatures over the past couple weeks.

"We had some rain yesterday but it was not wide-spread enough to bring fuel moistures down so we could stay in Moderate" said Frank Maradeo, chairman of the MCFPA.

The move to High fire danger coincides with the official end of the General Burning Season, which ends on August 31st. People may still have a permit for Essential Agriculture or for Wildland Burning and these seasons are still regulated by both fire danger and air quality.

Officials say that with the fire danger at High, people will not be able to burn at this time, but should check the burn hotline for updates. The hotline numbers are, for the Seeley Lake, Clearwater or Swan Drainages north of Clearwater Junction: (406) 677-2899 and for the rest of Missoula Valley: (406) 258-4900.


(from August 25, 2009)

Fire officials with the Missoula County Fire Protection Association have raised the fire danger to "moderate", but say they will continue to allow open burning in Missoula County for those with a permit.

However, people with permits are reminded they must be careful and must call the burn hotline on the day they wish to burn.

"We need to be able to close burning at a moment's notice, so people need to pay attention and call the hotline" said Frank Maradeo, chairman of the MCFPA. "They also need to know they are still responsible for their fires, even with a permit" he added, referring to the requirement to have water and tools available to keep a burn under control.

Burning season is regulated by both fire danger and air quality and burning may still be shut down if air quality diminishes.

Officials say that those with permits should check the burn hotline daily. The hotline numbers are, for the Seeley Lake, Clearwater or Swan Drainages north of Clearwater Junction: 677-2899 and for the rest of Missoula Valley: 258-4900.

For more information on fire and burning, click here.


(from August 19, 2009)

Fire officials with the Missoula County Fire Protection Association have moved the fire danger to "Low", and officials say they will re-open general burning starting at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday August 18th, in Missoula County for those with a permit.

Burning season is regulated by both fire danger and air quality and burning may still be shut down if air quality diminishes or if the fire danger increases. Officials add that it's important to check the burn hotline daily, not only when getting a permit.

The hotline numbers are, for the Seeley Lake, Clearwater or Swan Drainages north of Clearwater Junction: (406) 677-2899 and for the rest of Missoula Valley: (406) 258-4900.

"People need to know that even with a permit, they are still responsible for their fire" said Frank Maradeo, chairman of the MCFPA. "They need to use this opportunity to get some piles cleaned up around their homes, but they can't just light a pile and walk away."

Residents of Missoula County who wish to burn can obtain a permit from the US Forest Service, the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation or their local fire department.

For more information on fire and burning, go to the web, at: www.mcfpa.org.

- Mark Thorsell reporting from KPAX in Missoula

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