So far, the 2014 wildfire season in Montana has been defined more by what hasn’t happened than by what has.
After a record-setting fire season last year that burned thousands of acres and many homes and outbuildings in southeastern and south-central Montana, this year has been notably quiet thanks to timely rainfall.
HELENA — A new law has changed how the state pays for its share of wildfire suppression costs by setting aside the money before fires occur, instead having to come up with the cash months later after the fire season ends.
RONAN — While a national report worries that tribal timber operations are suffering critical shortfalls, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Forestry Director Jim Durglo stays too busy to worry.
To get a sense of some of the most pressing environmental issues facing Montana, consider the Environmental Quality Council’s agenda — controlling wolf populations, hunting and fishing license reform, sage grouse protection and the increasing cost of fighting wildland fires.
Portions of the Beartooth Face between Big Timber and Red Lodge are being studied for a patchwork of logging and prescribed fire plans by state and federal agencies this summer and in the future that have the potential to cumulatively alter the foothills' landscape.
MISSOULA — The U.S. Forest Service expects to shoulder $212 million in sequestration cuts this year, but no one can say how that might play out at the local level.
CHEYENNE — The city-county health departments in Wyoming's two largest communities are out of influenza vaccine at what may be the peak of this year's nasty flu season.
The Wyoming Department of Health has interviewed 50 people as part of an investigation into the source of a foodborne virus outbreak in Casper this week.
MISSOULA -- Wildfires and weather share a common problem: We all talk about them, but what can we do about them?
Citing lingering drought, high fire danger and continued occurrences of human-caused fires across Montana, the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation has extended the legal wildfire season into October.
The Humane Society of the United States will travel to the Ash Creek fire area on Friday to assess the needs of animals.
NORTHERN CHEYENNE RESERVATION — The 110,000-acre Ash Creek fire picked its victims at random as it exploded across the Northern Cheyenne Reservation and surrounding private lands beginning Tuesday afternoon.
Bob Harrington and Clive Rooney with the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation brief Gov. Brian Schweitzer on the status of the Dahl Fire south of Roundup.
Here’s the positive side to the record moisture that Montana has received in the past seven months: The fire danger is average to below average.
CASPER — Several years ago, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department, which is partly funded and overseen by the Wyoming Department of Health, found one of its nurses was violating a medical protocol and immediately fired that employee.