MISSOULA, Mont. - Fire officials say recent rainfall is providing relief to crews fighting several large wildfires across western Montana, but it's only temporary.
West Central Montana Restrictions Coordinator Chris Johnson says the amount of rain expected to fall won't make up for the extended period of heat and dryness in July.
The fire danger level was recently raised to "Extremely Dangerous" in many areas of western Montana, and at 12:01 Thursday morning, Stage 1 fire restrictions went into effect.
Johnson says he doesn't expect the restrictions and danger level to change anytime soon.
"We're a month ahead of last year," said Johnson. "Stage 1 and extreme fire danger was implemented at the end of August last year."
"Where it is raining now, I would say that the immediate to fire spread has obviously gone down. Around the fringes of these storms where lightning can still take place, and fire's can still be kindled, we could still be off to the races in no short order," said Johnson.