A day like last Wednesday means that one spark can cause a large wildland fire to form.
That’s exactly what happened just a few months ago along a railroad track near Manhattan; a train sparked a fire that burned for four miles along the frontage road, nearly reaching Belgrade.
Strong winds helped spread the fire very quickly, just one of the conditions that warrant a red flag warning. The others are low humidity and drying fuel like grass.
It’s important to be extra cautious when operating machinery and towing chains because fires can start and spread quickly to the point they can be hard to contain.
Human-caused wildland fires are very common under current conditions, so quoting our friend Smokey Bear from the National Forest Service, only you can prevent forest fires.
Local burn bans are in place for Jefferson, Lewis and Clark, and Cascade counties.