Drying Grass Could Jumpstart Late Fire Season

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – Officials say that the wet spring that eased drought also produced a lot of tall grass that will provide plenty of fuel for a late fire season.

Gov. Brian Schweitzer received his fire season briefing Monday.

Federal, state and local agency officials say the low-lying fuels like grasses and shrubs are drying which is leading to more fire activity. They expect that activity to pick up.

Schweitzer says there is $25 million in state money set aside to deal with fires. So far, fire activity is behind what has been seen in recent years.

The governor says he is encouraging people to take personal responsibility for their own property and create a defensible space around homes.