Regional fires cause haze; county to enact fire ban
Date posted: July 23, 2013
SHERIDAN — After a particularly hazy morning in Sheridan Monday, officials at the National Weather Service Office in Billings said northern Wyoming and southern Montana could be in store for several more weeks of smoky conditions.
“The bottom line is we’ve hit that time of year,” impact meteorologist Dan Borsum said. “All the fires across the region are going to continue to burn.”
On the advice of the Sheridan County Fire Warden, the county commissioners are set to enact a fire ban effective July 30.
The complete resolution will be posted on the county website at that time.
A cluster of fires in Idaho has been responsible for most of the recent smoke, although several others scattered throughout the northern Rockies have also contributed to the hazy conditions in the Sheridan area.
Yesterday morning saw heavier smoke accumulation in Sheridan County than in much of the surrounding area, but the haze largely dissipated as the day wore on.
Borsum said a combination of unique weather conditions allowed for smoke to gather heavily near Sheridan.
He added that weather conditions look to remain dry for the next two weeks, meaning fires in the region will likely continue to burn.
“The key thing right now is to expect fire and be prepared for fire,” he said.
Borsum said people who own property near heavily wooded areas should take time to ensure their landscaping is neatly trimmed and kept away from potential fire zones. Additionally, residents who are sensitive to smoke should plan ahead to avoid prolonged exposure.
While smoky conditions will likely continue through the next few weeks, Borsum said this year’s fire season has been fairly typical thus far. If dry conditions continue through the end of the summer, however, fire and smoke could prove to be a serious threat for the area.
“We’re seeing our most active fire part of the year for the northern Rockies,” he said. “What happens after the middle of August will kind of dictate the duration.”