Potential for Wildfire Damage Near Billings and Surrounding Areas Looms Large

According to Mike Rawlins of KXLH Channel 9 concern is growing for a bad fire season under the Big Sky.
But it may not turn out to be as bad as we may think.

When we look at the potential for wildfires, there are several factors we must look at. Here are just a few: mountain snow pack, amount of precipitation, residual soil moisture, summer heat waves and dry thunderstorms.

Some of those are easy to analyze and determine whether or not they’ll aid us or hurt us when it comes to fire season. For example, we know what the soil moisture is like right now and it’s pretty good.

Montana saw ample amounts of rain and snow in 2014, setting us up pretty good for 2015.

It’s spring, so we should see the land turning greener as plants and trees bloom. Most of central Montana is green — great news, meaning we are above average. And this is thanks in part to just how wet it was early on this past winter.

But, western Montana and southwest Montana aren’t looking all that great. A considerable lack of moisture is to blame for the below average greenness in these areas.

So, for north central Montana, things aren’t all that bad as of right now. I am concerned with another factor that could become a huge player later this year… mountain snow pack.

Read the rest of the article here.