As the summer winds down, wildfires continue to rage in parts of the drought-stricken western United States, but in Montana it's been an unusually slow fire season.
According the National Incident Information System, crews responded to only 10 significant wildfires in Montana this summer, which burned a total of 3,045 acres.
By comparison, last year's Gold Pan Complex fire in the Bitterroot National Forest alone burned 42,000 acres. Wildfires burned a total of 93,000 acres last year across the state.
It's undoubtedly been good for our air quality, but there's a group of workers in Montana who haven't clocked many hours this summer -- firefighters.
It all depends on which agency or contractor you're employed by, but most of the firefighters we talked to said they made less money this summer than they have in past years.
The goal, they say, is prevention and safety, but sometimes that comes at a personal cost.
"You know they are going to be hurting, I assume," says Will Rotter, a seasonal firefighter and University of Montana student. "A lot of them depend on this kind of work for their livelihoods, and I don't have to worry about that as much, but I know a lot of these guys are going to be hurting come winter time."
The season isn't over yet. Fire season can extend all the way to November.