Very warm temperatures today across southwest Montana are contributing to very dangerous conditions in the Butte area. Watches and warnings have been an issue all week for most of the state.

Also, Madison County is under a Red Flag Warning for Saturday. (Their Fire Weather Watch has expired. Details below.)

Want warnings and condition info? Weather.gov supplies Hazard Maps, Incident Maps, Projection Maps and lots of other details. Conditions change rapidly during fire season.

According to the National Weather Service for Butte/Anaconda area:

  • FIRE WEATHER WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 2 PM THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH SATURDAY EVENING.
  • Affected area: Fire Zone 110 (Deerlodge/West Beaverhead). You can see a map of the Montana Fire Zones below for location clarity.
  • Impacts: A dry cold front will produce a potentially critical combination of gusty west winds, low humidity and unstable conditions.
  • Winds: West winds 10 to 20 mph with gusts to 25 mph.
  • Minimum humidities: 16 to 24 percent

According to the National Weather Service for Madison County:

  • RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 2 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 9 PM SATURDAY EVENING.
  • The Fire Weather Watch is no longer in effect.
  • Affected area: Fire Zone 111 (East Beaverhead). You can see a Montana Fire Zone Map below for location clarity.
  • Impacts: A dry cold front will bring a combination of gusty westerly winds, low humidity, and unstable conditions.
  • Winds: West 10 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph.
  • Minimum humidities: 12 to 18 percent.

The USDA Forest Service uses an instrument called MODIS:

MODIS is the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer.

The MODIS instrument is a polar orbiting, high temporal, moderate spatial resolution sensor that acquires remote sensing data for monitoring the Earth's land, ocean and atmosphere.

The MODIS instrument is currently on board two NASA EOS satellites: Terra, launched in December 1999, and Aqua, launched in May 2002.