Wildfire season showing no signs of slowing down
Even though fall is on its way, the wildfire season is showing no signs of slowing down.
Over the weekend, firefighters battled a 97 acre fire in the Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge and a 350 acres fire near Fishtrap. As of Sunday, both fires were under control.
The Department of Natural Resources said even though the season is changing we aren't out of the woods just yet.
DNR said fuels such as grass and brush have very little moisture making them extremely flammable. And, when you add wind to the mix a fire can spread even faster.
On Saturday, DNR called on several firefighting planes to help attack the fires from the air. The Fire Boss based out of Deer Park made water drops on the Miller Homestead fire burning near Fish Trap.
Eric Johnson, pilot of the Fire Boss, said the plane has logged a hundred miles in the past two months alone.
"It is satisfying to be a part of a team," said Eric Johnson.
"It's really a team effort. Airplanes don't put fires out, people on the ground do. But, a lot of times we can get the fire knocked down and so it's a lot safer for the guys on the ground to get in there and finish the job," he said.
A 60 day contract to keep the Fire Boss stationed at the Deer Park Airport ends September 7th.
"If had to reach into my magic hat and guess, I would guess that it will be extended some," said Johnson.
"If we don't get some kind of season ending event like some cool rainy days that just soak the ground really well I suspect we'll be working a little later this year- but you never can tell," he said.
A burn ban remains in effect for the Inland Northwest until September 30th.
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