Sixteen wildland fires are burning across Montana, but for the most part the state has dodged a devastating summer fire season like last year’s.
“Thankfully we had a slower season than average,” said Ken Schmid, BLM state fire management officer.
Schmid spoke to the Environmental Quality Council on Wednesday in Helena, giving the members a brief update on the state’s fire season.
The state’s largest fires this year have been largely confined to the northwestern corner of the state, where the 14,000-acre Howe Ridge fire is burning in Glacier National Park, according to the National Interagency Fire Center’s data.
"At least in northwest Montana it was a tough fire year," said John Tubbs, director of the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.
Next door to Glacier in the Flathead National Forest, the Whale Butte, Brownstone, Juliet, Paola Ridge and Coal Ridge fires continue to burn.