High Fire Danger Across Montana As Heat Sets In For Weekend

GLASGOW, Mont. (AP) — Authorities warned of high wildfire danger across much of Montana Thursday and in coming days as temperatures were forecast to approach the triple digits with heavy winds in some areas.

The start of September will bring heat at near record levels and it will linger through Labor Day weekend, the National Weather Service said.

Central and and northeastern Montana from Great Falls to the North Dakota border were under a red flag warning.

Winds gusts up to 30 miles per hour (48 kilometers per hour), low humidity levels and highs near 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) were forecast. That means any spark could cause a new wildfire, forecasters said.

By Saturday, the heightened fire risk will spread to western Montana, with winds gusts up to 40 miles per hour (64 kilometers per hour).

A combination of low humidity levels, hot temps, and gusty (20-40 mph) afternoon and evening winds will create the threat for elevated fire danger Saturday, especially across west central and southwest Montana. Be fire smart and do your part to avoid causing a new fire!

August had the highest monthly average temperatures ever recorded in Helena and Belgrade, the weather service said.