Living with Fire
In this three-part series, Montana Free Press reporter Amanda Eggert examines how federal land management agencies have approached wildfire in the past and highlights key public and private sector developments that could change how we engage with it in the future.
Part 1: The evolution of wildfire suppression
How a handful of events and policies shaped the wildfire narrative over the last century.
Part 2: Building fire-adapted communities through land-use planning
Can smarter land-use policy reduce the number of homes lost to wildfires? Some experts say yes.
Part 3: Private-sector approaches to a public problem
As the threat of wildfire grows throughout the West, private firefighting companies deployed by insurance companies are stepping in.
Bonus: Reporter Amanda Eggert talks about her MTFP series ‘Living with Fire’
Journalist and former wildland firefighter Amanda Eggert joins us to discuss her three-part series for Montana Free Press, Living with Fire.
As fire season progresses, Montana Free Press staff publishes hourly updates with information on the location and size of fires reported across the state, as well air quality ratings for Montana communities with monitoring stations.
read the latest on montana wildfires
Smoke frustrates school sports scene
For student athletes in the Bitterroot Valley, canceled matches and indoor practice have become routine this month due to bad air quality.
How you can avoid causing Montana’s next big wildfire
Montana’s Department of Natural Resources and Conservation reports that 75% of wildfires as human-caused. Here’s advice for keeping yourself from becoming part of that statistic.
The story of fire retardant
What it is, why it works, and how fire managers decide when to use it.
Tracking eastern Montana’s silent firestarters
Underground coal seams can burn unnoticed for years. They can also spark raging wildfires. Funding to extinguish them is limited, but a mapping effort is underway to plot the smoldering coordinates.
Where wildfire meets population growth
For the second summer in a row, a wildfire has destroyed homes near the shores of Flathead Lake, offering a stark reminder of the danger fire poses to one of the fastest-growing areas in the state.
What to know about smoke and health this summer
How do you know if it’s safe to take a hike today? What exactly is PM2.5? Experts answer those and other smoke-season questions to help you breathe easier.