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Extreme heat & critical fire weather conditions

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Posted at 1:16 PM, Aug 01, 2022

BOZEMAN – The combination of extreme heat again today, very low humidity, and increasing surface wind gusts will create dangerous fire weather conditions Monday afternoon and possibly again into Tuesday for SW Montana.

The National Weather Service issued a HEAT ADVISORY for the eastern half of SW Montana, including Bozeman, through midnight Monday with possible max temperatures between 95° to 105°. Be extremely careful with all outdoor activities for the rest of the day to avoid heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

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The extreme heat will also produce higher fire danger. The National Weather Service has a RED FLAG WARNING for most of Montana through 9 pm Monday evening. There is a very good chance additional red flag warnings will be issued throughout the rest of the week.

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Durning red flag warning events new fire starts are very likely especially accidental human caused fires. Again, please use extreme caution with all outdoor activities for the rest of the day.

Fire update: The 3 fires in and around SW Montana that are contributing to most of the wildfire smoke are as follows.

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The Moose Fire north of Salmon, ID is now over 56,000 acres in size and this fire is producing the most smoke over the region.

The smaller and less active Hog Trough Fire has burned over 700 acres and is 9% contained.

The Clover Fire south of Ennis is just under a thousand acres and is 23% contained. This fire will produce thick smoke at times for Ennis, Big Sky, and West Yellowstone.

Latest smoke forecast has significant wildfire smoke impacting the Dillon to Ennis to West Yellowstone areas through the overnight hours tonight and a similar pattern likely again Tuesday. Butte will also see several rounds of light to moderate smoke with the less impactful smoke likely in the Bozeman area.

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At 1 pm Monday air quality ratings are up to “unhealthy for sensitive groups” in the Dillon area and “moderate” in Butte and West Yellowstone with the best air quality over Bozeman.

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A cold front will bring slightly cooler air back to the region late Tuesday but it could also produce gusty surface winds and even a few isolated thunderstorms Tuesday afternoon over southern Beaverhead, Madison and Gallatin counties and into Yellowstone National Park.