Missoula fire danger lowered to moderate, outdoor burning remains closed

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As cooler temperatures and increased moisture levels grace northwestern Montana, Missoula County fire protection agencies lowered the fire danger level to moderate on Monday.

Outdoor burning is still prohibited. Forecasted weather includes breezy and windy weather conditions daily and a mostly dry, cold front coming in Wednesday, according to a news release from the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. 

“Caution is still warranted with any spark right now — but especially when breezy and dry conditions are expected,” fire prevention specialist Kristin Mortenson said in the release. 

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The change is effective immediately.

Officials warn Missoula-area residents not to get complacent with lowered heat intensity. It’s still illegal to burn piles of leaves and vegetative debris, the release said. When fall outdoor burning is permitted, the only burning allowed will be prescribed wild land and essential agriculture burning.

All outdoor burning in Missoula County is by permit only and the general burning season is closed until March 1, 2022. Inside the Missoula Air Stagnation Zone, it is prohibited to burn piles of leaves and grass year-round. Within city limits, parcels must be at least one acre

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