Thursday Buffet: Fire Forecast, Pay Raise, Bubble Bandits

By Beacon Staff

Good morning. On this day in 1911, American archeologist Hiram Bingham got his first look at Machu Picchu, an ancient Inca settlement in Peru.

On the Beacon this morning, the biologists who laid the groundwork for wolf reintroduction weigh in on the current controversy over removing wolves from the endangered species list. Convective rains have flora on the valley floor flourishing, but recent dry weather could prove explosive as the Montana fire season is late, but imminent. Federal investigators have begun looking into closed-door negotiations between the Bush administration and Seattle-based Plum Creek Timber Co., the nation’s largest owner of private land.

Here’s some happy news for about 15,500 Montana workers: The state minimum wage will rise by 30 cents an hour starting today. Evel Knievel’s widow, Krystal, talks to the Montana Standard about dealing with Knievel’s death. And wildfire threatens a development near Billings for the fourth time this month.

Someone has stolen the bubbles for the off-Broadway’s “Gazillion Bubbles Show.” Thieves took 3.4 tons of a specialized soapy bubble solution, which takes two months to make. In case you’re wondering what a “bubbles show” is, here’s a handy YouTube video. Almost to the weekend folks! Happy Thursday.

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