Over Half Million Acres of Montana Burned
Over a half million acres of Montana have been lost to wildfires this summer. KTVQ.com reports that about four thousand firefighters, 125 aircraft and 350 Montana National Guard troops battled 40 wildfires this summer that scorched 655,171 acres– with 23 still actively consuming land statewide. The most destructive of these was reportedly the Lolo Peak Fire which claimed two lives and burned nearly 40,000 acres.
The Lodgepole Complex Fire was the largest of the summer coming in at approximately 271,000 acres. The longest burning was the Tongue River Complex. It began in early July and burned just under 29,000 acres and is still listed as active on Inciweb, the federal website for fire information. This fire season has been compounded by a lack of rainfall. August 2017 was nearly the driest on record. Continued dry conditions compound the danger.