Rain, Snow helping put out fires - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Rain, Snow helping put out fires

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Great Falls - Some much needed rain and even some snow has finally made its way to our area. The one question on everyone's minds is will it be enough to finally put an end to this wildfire season?

The NWS in Great Falls say it's been 93 days..or more than three months since we've seen this much moisture. so if we put that into perspective, June was the last time we saw some good rain, but not everyone is now asking, will this precipitation put out the fires? The short answer is: maybe not completely, but KFBB is told that it will make a difference. 

NWS Meteorologist Roger Martin says the most important thing about this *weather* pattern is that it's widespread and not just showers, and that's what makes all the difference in suppressing or putting out these fires. 

"Kind of think of it like a campfire. If you put a little bit of water in one area, it may make that part of your fire a little less hot or not as bad but then you still have the rest of the fire and one of the things that helps is having a widespread precipitation event like what we're having now," said Martin.

Although it may seem like it's just the rain and snow making the difference, Martin says there's more to it than that.

"The cooler temperatures will help. Being cooler during the day and the nights, of course, with more clouds, there's not going to be as much sun to keep what's burning hot so the rain, the cooler temperatures and of course the snow, all of that will help," said Roger Martin, NWS Meteorologist.

Although the rain is bringing a relief to the fire efforts, Martin says on the flip side, it's creating quite a bit of mud in the mountains, which could make it difficult for fire staff to move their equipment.Martin adds that this moisture that we're seeing now will also help suppress some of the bigger fires like the Alice Creek Fire near Lincoln and the Rice Ridge near Seeley Lake. Martin adds that it may take one or two good widespread rain and snow events like this to completely put out these fires and hopefully put an end to this devastating season.
 

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