Snowmelt Boosts Mudslide Risk in Parts of Western Montana

The threat is also elevated in Seeley Lake to the northeast in areas burned by last year's 250-square-mile wildfire

By Justin Franz

MISSOULA — Officials say the rapidly melting snowpack in the mountains of western Montana has increased the risk of mudslides in areas scorched by last year’s wildfires.

Adrienne Beck of the Missoula County Office of Emergency Management tells the Missoulian that her office has warned residents in about 10 homes of the threat.

Those homes are near where last year’s Lolo Peak Fire burned 84 square miles (217 square kilometers) of forest west of Missoula.

The threat is also elevated in Seeley Lake to the northeast in areas burned by last year’s 250-square-mile (647-square-kilometer) Rice Ridge Fire.

Beck says that snowpack levels are is still about 140 percent of normal, meaning the threat will remain for weeks.

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