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Entries in Montana wildfires (7)


Cooler weather expected to help mop up on Lincoln fire

DNRC photo(LINCOLN)- Cooler, wetter weather is hitting just right for fire crews that will be spending today mopping up that sudden wildfire that broke out Wednesday afternoon near Lincoln.

The fire on Dalton Mountain broke out around 3:30 p.m. and grew quickly, forcing the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department to put people on standby for evacuations as the gusty winds fanned the fire to roughly 200-acres. DNRC and Forest Service crews quickly attacked the flames on the ground and from the air, and had the blaze 60% contained by 7 p.m. and declared it "under control" a couple of hours later. 

DNRC is convinced the fire was "human-caused" and investigators will be looking into what started the blaze. 


Researchers confirm what we all knew, beetle kill trees burn better

Photo by Dennis Bragg(MISSOULA)- U.S. Forest Service researchers say they now have scientific proof to the question of whether trees killed by pine beetles are more of a hazard than healthy greens.

That's the conclusion of a new report prepared by the U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station in Missoula and published this month. The study is an attempt to provide hard scientific evidence to what wildland fire crews and Rocky Mountain residents have always said, that "beetle kill" trees are more of a fire hazard. 

KPAX TV reports the study found the higher starch and sugar levels, combined with significantly lower moisture levels, mean needs on beetle kill trees can ignite in as little as 11-seconds, compared with more than 40-seconds for healthy trees. The researchers say that means a greater danger that beetle kill trees having a higher potential for "crowning" fires, where wildfire can move quickly through a forest as trees torch. 

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