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Montana Fire Danger rising as stormy, dry weather comes into forecast

GRANITE COUNTY - With flames ravaging states like California to the south, Montana is now in the crosshairs of a weather system that will bring hotter, dryer temperatures to the area over the next two days.

Locally, the temperature is set to spike Tuesday with Drummond expecting a high of 92 and Philipsburg 88. Temps will stay high Wednesday but are expected to drop below normal levels Thursday and into the weekend as a cold front passes through.

But what may more troubling than the temperatures are the dry thunderstorms that are predicted. These storms have a 20%-30% of occurring in the afternoon and evening hours, but will likely have no moisture with them. That means that should lightning find its way to the ground, there would be no accompanying rain to put out any fires.

This is a similar situation to the 2017 fire season, in which lightning strikes started blazes on difficult to reach hilltops that became the Sapphire Complex and Meyers fires locally. These two blazes alone accounted for almost 110,000 thousand acres of burned acreage.

Over the next few days it is recommended that you make sure your animals receive ample water and shade whenever possible. Keeping pets indoors is also recommended.

If you witness a lightning strike in our local mountains or fields, make sure that it has caught fire before calling 911. Make sure to give the dispatch officer as much detail as you can as to the location of the blaze, including addresses or pertinent landmarks so they can respond quickly.

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