By Andi Bourne

Rice Ridge Recap Sheds Light on Historic Fire Season and Local Decisions


Andi Bourne, Pathfinder

The panel of 16 people included representation from the Lolo National Forest, Missoula County Sheriff's Office, Clearwater Resource Council, Montana DNRC, Bureau of Land Management, Ovando and Seeley Lake Fire Departments, Missoula County Health Department and Emergency Services and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

SEELEY LAKE – Discussions of the extraordinary 2017 fire season with a focus on the Rice Ridge fire filled Seeley Lake Elementary Feb. 28. This time 16 panelists from 10 different organizations provided a closer look at the overall fire season and answered questions specific to the Rice Ridge fire.

The Lolo National Forest Fire Management Officer Laura Ward said the LNF has a 10 year average of 138 fires per year that burn an average of 44,000 acres per year. This year there were 94 fires. The Rice Ridge fire alone burned more than 160,000 acres.

Ward said there were nine large fires on...

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