At the end of the season, forest fires are finally breaking out in Idaho and Montana-

It’s not like recent years when 500,000 to over a million acres burned, but some of these fires are now over 1000 acres. Range fires too continue to break out after every passing lightning storm.

Saddle Complex fire spreads into Montana (from Idaho). Missoulian, and Wildfire pours smoke into the Bitterroot. KAJ18.com.This fire is being managed to let it improve the forest because the area where it burns has not had a fire for over a hundred years.

Three fires in or near the Bob Marshall Wilderness. By Gwen Florio. Missoulian. One is near Big Salmon Lake, a popular large lake just off the South Fork of the Flathead where insects have killed many of the trees in recent years.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides.

6 Responses to Idaho, Montana forest fires heating up

  1. avatar Nancy says:

    The smoke blew into my little area of southwest Montana last night with little warning, out playing with the dogs and an hour later the whole area was socked in. Had me on the phone calling neighbors to find out where the fire was. No one had a clue. Shut all the windows last night (which is hard to do when its 88 degress out) and hoped the temps cooled down by morning.

    Morning brought little relief from the smoke but by afternoon it had cleared out abit although there’s still an obvious haze hanging over the hills this evening…..

    • avatar WM says:

      Nancy,

      Come on, now, relish the experience. Wildfire and all its eventual benefits are natural processes, that encourage ecosystem renewal. What’s a night with the windows closed in the high 80’s? LOL

  2. avatar Mike says:

    I just left Montana. The Bitterroot and Missoula were a mess. Terrible air quality. The mountains bordering Yellowstone were far better, although lightning did trigger several small fires in the Gallatin NF behind my camp.

    Unfortunately I had to leave. It’s never fun to leave such a majestic national forest as the Gallatin. Glacier was also incredible this year, as always.

    • avatar Dee Humphrey says:

      Wow! Glad I read this, as we’re getting ready to travel from Sacramento to Kalispell. My sinuses are bad enough right now without smelling smoke! We’ll postpone our trip for a week & see how it goes. Thanks for posting.

  3. avatar Don says:

    I just moved to Elk Bend, Idaho. We have had light smoke for a few days, but this morning – with no wind – heavy smokey haze. Hoping and praying for a wind shift to blow this out. (the dogs are driving me nuts, they want out)

  4. avatar Ralph Maughan says:

    I spent the last two weeks in Alaska and traveling there and back. I was amazed to see how much of the Snake River Plain in Idaho had burned in the time I was gone, and was burning today, compared to two weeks ago.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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