Thus far in 2023 the United States has had a below average number of wildfires and acres burned, but scalding heat across the West will likely increase the fire threat. A wet winter and spring with an active storm track into the West is the likely cause for the muted and belated fire season. Climatologically the final two weeks of July and the first week of August is the hottest time of year in the northern hemisphere, and the next few weeks will be very hot across Montana and the West. Thursday will be mostly sunny and this is when the temperatures start to warm up into the 80s to around 90. A few isolated thunderstorms are possible over the southwest mountains. The heat is ON for Friday with most of the state in the 90s for high temperatures, Missoula will likely hit 100. Skies will be mostly sunny with a few isolated thunderstorms again. This weekend will be hot across the state with highs in the 90s to around 100. The wind will not be that strong, but the humidity levels will be low with isolated mountain thunderstorms on Saturday. Sunday will be hot, dry and mostly sunny with a few isolated mountain thunderstorms. A weak disturbance will trigger isolated thunderstorms on Monday but highs will still be up in the 90s to around 100. Tuesday will be hot, dry and breezy with highs back down in the low to mid 90s. Overall the rest of July looks fairly lot with above average temperatures likely. Please use caution as the fire danger will be increasing. Do your part to not spark any fires.