(HELENA) On a cold, snowy, winter-like day, the only fire you’re probably thinking of is one to keep you warm.

Fire season in Montana and the Northern Rockies is nearing its end.

Several snow storms, cooler temperatures, and timely rains have ended the significant threat of a wildland fire. However, Montana is always two to three weeks away from a fire season. If the weather were to become extremely dry, warm, and windy for several weeks, wildfire concerns would rise.

Massive wildfires have ignited late in the fall. Does anyone remember the turkey fire in 1990? It was named that because it began near Thanksgiving on the east end of the little belt mountains, and burned nearly 6,000 acres.

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A wildfire this time of year is possible, but not likely.

For firefighters, the focus shifts toward structure fires in homes and businesses, started by electric heaters, chimney fires, and other stove and fireplace related incidents.

So here’s a reminder to be safe with these circumstances.

And because wildland fires are less likely, many seasonal firefighters for the DNRC and forest service have left to work farther south where the fire season continues. This is where the importance of local volunteer firefighters increases.

Wildfire season in Montana is down, but never out. And now you’re a little more weatherwise.


Reporter: Curtis Grevenitz