Fire Officials Prepare for One-Two Punch in Drought Fire Season

Governor Greg Gianforte met with fire, weather and other officials in his conference room on Wednesday to receive a briefing on the upcoming fire season for Montana.

Before the meeting began Gianforte asked for a moment of silence to honor wildland firefighter Tim Hart, who was killed in New Mexico on May 24 while fighting the Eicks Fire.

Gianforte then acknowledged the fact that over half of Montana is in a drought, and that the upcoming fire season will be affected by those extremely dry conditions.

“As we know, the 2021 Drought and Water Advisory Committee confirms what many citizens across the state are experiencing,” said Gianforte. “Much of Montana is currently in moderate to extreme drought conditions. I’ve already heard from farmers and ranchers in eastern Montana, who are worried about the lack of rain and what it means for their operations heading into this summer and fall.”

Colleen Haskell, Northern Rockies Coordinating Council Predictive Services Meteorologist, told the gathering that the entire state will be dealing with either moderate or severe drought conditions.

“The expectation for the drought is that there are some pockets west of the Continental Divide that are in the yellow category, which means that it’s abnormally dry as you

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