As you are reading this, I need you to do me a favor. I need you to step outside and look towards the Northwest. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Now that you’re facing Northwest, you’ll notice a little bit of a haze over the area. Where is it coming from you may ask? Let’s do some digging.
FIRST: Let’s see where our wind is. These are the current conditions as of 10 AM Thursday.
You will notice that the wind is out of the Northwest, so take a look in that direction. Geographically speaking, we are looking towards Montana. You will notice on the picture below that there are numerous wildfires across portions of Southeastern and East Central Montana.
Out of several fires burning in Montana, the one fire that sticks out and that I circled is Huff Fire. This fire is located in Garfield County and was human-caused. As of yesterday, over 900 structures were being threatened by this fire. A school, and a hospital were evacuated. According to FEMA, close to 500 people were asked to voluntary evacuate. This fire started on Wednesday, September 2nd and has already burned over 30,000 acres of state and federal land. Residents in Jordan and Cohagen were evacuated and have since been able to return back to their homes.
Yesterday (September 2nd), FEMA authorized the use of federal funds to fight this wildfire in Montana. To read the full article, click here.
WHAT CAUSED IT? As mentioned earlier, this fire was human-caused and began on private land 6 miles south of Jordan. This is just one of many fires going on in Montana as shown in the Map above. However short term, they could be running into an issue. Because of the temps going back up into the 90’s with some places hitting the triple digits, the wind increasing to about 25-20 MPH gusts, low humidity, and not to mention that there is a moderate drought across parts of the Intermountain West, a Fire Weather Watch is out for South Central and Southeast Montana until Sunday at Midnight. If there is any good news to this it’s that they, like us, will also be cooling down next week. One thing that will help them is that they have a nice rain chance Sunday & Monday, which will definitely help the firefighters out. Well, as long as they don’t get the T-Storms and it’s just rain, they’ll be okay.
Here in the Black Hills, we really need the precipitation. At this point, I’ll take a nice round of snow if that meant getting us out of the deficit we are in.