Missoula County approves landmark fire protection plan

MISSOULA - There's no way to completely stop the threat of wildfire but Missoula County leaders and their partners in...

Posted: May 31, 2018 7:00 PM
Updated: May 31, 2018 7:00 PM

MISSOULA - There's no way to completely stop the threat of wildfire but Missoula County leaders and their partners in forest management and public safety are hoping they've come up with a way for the county and its residents to at least have a fighting chance.

Missoula County had planned to update the 2005 Community Fire Protection Plan before last fire season. But the delay in getting the final document written actually turned out to be fortuitous, because 2017 was one of the worst fire seasons the Missoula area has seen in decades, with most of the state's largest fires burning within county boundaries.

Once the smoke cleared, that gave the county and its partner agencies invaluable data which was then folded into the CFPP update and now, county commissioners have adopted the plan, a step which brought them immediate praise from partners including private foresters, Montana DNRC and the US Forest Service.

"Identification of potential resources for funding and mitigation activities and the increase of our community awareness and important discussions around risk reduction for our residents and our emergency responders," said Lolo National Forest District Ranger Jennifer Hensiek.

"I just wanted to share that deep gratitude from the National Forest Service, working with our local leaders like Jen, with our state partners like the DNRC. And I also want to thank you as a citizen," added USFS Northern Rockies Deputy Regional Forester Jane Darnell.

The plan is seen as a model for other communities in the West that are coping with hotter, larger and more intense fires. It sets out objectives to build more "fire wise" communities, taking fire risk into account for planning and infrastructure development, especially in areas like Seeley Lake, and "less restrictive" measures to allow for logging and fuels reduction on steeper slopes.

Oftentimes local governments have a difficult time implementing action plans. But county commissioners say that won't be the case with the Community Fire Protection Plan. In fact, the county is going to hire a specific person to oversee the plan and make sure that it's put to use.

"I really can't say enough thank yous to everyone who has worked diligently on this. And I look forward to making sure that this plan does not just gather dust on the shelf, but actually is implemented and is a living document," said Missoula County Commissioner Dave Strohmaier.

County leaders say they'll also continue looking at other refinements to amend the plan, such as more specific language dealing with grass fires and wildlife habitat.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 497790

Reported Deaths: 9917
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34102530
DeSoto31839398
Hinds31837622
Jackson24314377
Rankin21881388
Lee15427234
Madison14525279
Jones13772241
Forrest13412250
Lauderdale11937314
Lowndes10934185
Lamar10470135
Pearl River9431237
Lafayette8454138
Hancock7697126
Washington7365156
Oktibbeha7111129
Monroe6727174
Warren6642176
Pontotoc6609101
Neshoba6606205
Panola6460131
Marshall6386132
Bolivar6266145
Union596094
Pike5784152
Alcorn5633101
Lincoln5417134
George491879
Scott470998
Tippah465381
Prentiss464181
Leflore4627143
Itawamba4596104
Adams4570119
Tate4546109
Copiah445191
Simpson4421116
Wayne438572
Yazoo438586
Covington427394
Marion4216107
Sunflower4215104
Coahoma4115104
Leake407787
Newton380879
Grenada3692108
Stone358464
Tishomingo356391
Attala330289
Jasper328265
Winston313191
Clay306375
Chickasaw296767
Clarke290694
Calhoun277945
Holmes266987
Smith262550
Yalobusha232647
Tallahatchie225251
Walthall217763
Greene215548
Lawrence211140
Perry204755
Amite203954
Webster201645
Noxubee185340
Montgomery179056
Jefferson Davis170642
Carroll167438
Tunica158639
Benton147438
Kemper141241
Choctaw133026
Claiborne131237
Humphreys129038
Franklin119128
Quitman106227
Wilkinson104539
Jefferson94234
Sharkey64020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 814025

Reported Deaths: 15179
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1140561910
Mobile722691323
Madison52017686
Shelby37304341
Baldwin37087540
Tuscaloosa34966599
Montgomery33971725
Lee23149240
Calhoun22159470
Morgan20659372
Etowah19764496
Marshall18254300
Houston17310405
St. Clair15921337
Cullman15325290
Limestone15222198
Elmore15086284
Lauderdale14157294
Talladega13723272
DeKalb12574259
Walker11089366
Blount10102174
Autauga9901146
Jackson9793180
Coffee9182189
Dale8864181
Colbert8791200
Tallapoosa7044195
Escambia6743127
Covington6685179
Chilton6592160
Russell626158
Franklin5935105
Chambers5560142
Marion4958126
Dallas4889199
Clarke473482
Pike4720105
Geneva4564126
Winston4476101
Lawrence4266117
Bibb421786
Barbour355675
Marengo334089
Monroe330462
Randolph327663
Butler324894
Pickens313982
Henry311265
Hale309487
Cherokee300057
Fayette290979
Washington251151
Cleburne247058
Crenshaw243775
Clay240767
Macon230762
Lamar217846
Conecuh185652
Coosa178838
Lowndes174161
Wilcox167738
Bullock151744
Perry138040
Sumter131138
Greene125844
Choctaw87027
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
51° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 51°
Columbus
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 48°
Oxford
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 46°
Starkville
Partly Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 48°
Fall like weather has dominated for the last few days, but a slight warming trend will eventually lead to increased rain chances, briefly, by mid-week.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather