Tag Archives: Missoula County

Where there’s smoke …

Make no mistake, fire season has officially arrived in Missoula County.

Several fires are currently burning south of town in Lolo National Forest, the Sapphire Complex and Goat Creek fires being the largest.

WestMtFires_7-25-2017-900x761And with the Sunrise fire growing near Tarko in neighboring Mineral County, the valley is filling up with smoke earlier – and thicker – each day.

We’re thankful, first, for the firefighters who work tirelessly in the heat and sun to keep us as well as our homes, businesses, land and livestock safe.

But the invisible heroes are those working to keep us safe from behind the scenes – those scientists, fire experts, incident commanders and government agencies who monitor the fires from afar and make critical – sometimes life-or-death – decisions about where to send our resources, human and otherwise.

It wasn’t too long ago we had to hear second-hand from the media what fires were burning where, and that often meant critical delays and distorted information that caused confusion at best and panic at worst.

But now, love it or hate it, information technology has made it much easier for us to stay on top of what’s going on without relying on those gatekeepers.

Without further ado, here’s a few great links that can help you follow the fires that are impacting you:

First, there’s InciWeb, an intergency all-risk incident management system designed both to provide the public with a single source of incident related info as well as a standardized reporting tool for the media.

sdfsdIf you follow this link, you can review a live roster of all the ongoing incidents across the country. By clicking on the column headers, you can sort the information to meet your specific inquiry. For example, click the “State” header and it arranges the incidents alphabetically by state.

You can also click on the specific incident you want to review and get a very detailed report on its current situation, outlook, weather concerns and planned actions.

This is also where you can monitor closures, evacuations, public meetings, etc.

-Second, there’s the local air quality website managed by Missoula County.

Here’s where you’ll find details about the smoke and how the fires are impacting air quality in the county, as well as what precautions you should take to avoid health problems due to the smoke.

From this page, you can follow a link to a pretty simple graphic that explains what comprises the different levels of air quality – from good to hazardous – and how you should adjust your activity accordingly.

There’s a lot of other neat links and resources available there for those who want to learn more about air quality in Missoula.

Say what you will about the positives and negatives of all the recent advances in information technology, but when it’s used to keep us and our families informed and safe, we’d say that’s a pretty neat evolution.

JackFM Missoula invites you to join us Saturday, April 29th, to celebrate the grand opening of the new Fort Missoula Regional Park!

The City of Missoula and Missoula County will mark the completion of Phase 1 of the $38 million public park with a free, all-ages vintage carnival and picnic from noon to 4 pm. The scheduleunnamed of activities includes live music, contra dancing, carvnival games and circus acts, vintage photo booths, a Little Red Wagon parade, sports and games for all ages, guided tours and more!

PLUS take advantage of exciting door prizes and feast on all your favorite Missoula food and drink vendors, and then at 1 pm the park will officially be opened with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting.

But wait! Don’t just drive to the park and start partying – you gotta bike or walk with us across the new South Reserve pedestrian bridge first! Yep, you read that right – Missoula Redevelopment Agency and Free Cycles Missoula will celebrate the opening of the long anticipated footbridge with a special ribbon-cutting and Seersucker inaugural ride at 11:30 am.

We love seeing Missoula get healthier – and more fun – and we can’t wait to enjoy this new park and bridge for decades to come!

For more details call 721-PARK or visit the Facebook event page HERE.

Park grand opening date set