The following is a press release from the Missoula County Fire Protection Association:

Interagency wildland fire officials with the Missoula County Fire Protection Association (MCFPA) have determined fire danger within Missoula County to be VERY HIGH. Fire danger on the Lolo National Forest west of Missoula County has been determined to be EXTREME, so folks will see that indicated on fire danger signs in those counties.

Recent days have seen temperatures in the nineties and grasses continuing to cure. This fine, dead fuel is the primary carrier of fire in the wildland, and when fires get established in this fuel type they spread out of control rapidly. Multiple grass fires have escaped initial attack in the last week, some transitioning into the forest with rapid rates of spread. All fuels, both live and dead, have dried to the point that fires will quickly spread out of the control of initial attack resources. We can’t afford anyone to be careless during activities that have the potential to start a fire; dry lightning and high winds are in the immediate forecast, and firefighters will be busy with lightning-caused fires.

Outdoor debris burning by permit has been closed for some time now, but firefighters continue to respond to debris fires across the county. Missoula County residents need to know that our wildland firefighters face a long, arduous fire season even without having to respond to human-caused fires. The more careful we are with fire, the less danger our first responders will face.

Everyone is encouraged to bookmark www.firerestrictions.us for the most up-to-date information regarding restrictions. Folks can also like the Missoula County Fire Protection Association on Facebook, and get information on our webpage: www.mcfpa.org.