On Sunday, March 28th, several areas of southwest Montana are under a Fire Weather Watch. Dangerous conditions are upon us early this year.

Warmer temperatures, little to no rainfall, high winds and low humidity around the area are creating fire friendly climates. Even though the mountains still have snow on their peaks, lower elevations and valleys are dying out quickly.

This particular Watch is focused on the Deer Lodge and Beaverhead area. It includes land surrounding Butte, Anaconda, Phillipsburg, Dillon, Twin Bridges, Virginia City, Ennis, Sheridan, Lima and most of Madison County.

(Several counties in Northeast Montana are also under a Fire Weather Watch on Sunday with even more drastic conditions.)

Anyone traveling from Montana to Idaho on highway 15 or 287 is encouraged to keep watch for any fire activity.

  • THE GOOD NEWS: Many parts of Montana are expecting rain and/or snow early next week. Temperatures will drop significantly on Monday in southwest Montana. This Fire Weather Watch is short-lived.
  • WHAT: There is a Fire Weather Watch in effect this Sunday (3/28)
  • WHERE: (See the Fire Zone Map below for more specifics) Fire Zone 110 (Deerlodge/West Beaverhead) and Fire Zone 111 (East Beaverhead).
  • WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS: These elements of gusty winds and low humidity have the ability to produce 'critical fire weather conditions'.
  • WIND ISSUES IN THE WATCH AREA: Southwest winds of 20-30 mph, with gusts up to 40 mph
  • HUMIDITY IN THE WATCH AREA: 16% to 26% which constitutes very dry conditions...moisture in the form of rain or snow is expected to return as early as Monday.

COMMON SENSE: Use caution this Sunday if traveling through these areas. NEVER throw a cigarette out the window and do not have campfires outside of designated areas. If recreating, always have enough water on hand to control your cooking set-up.

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