Yesterday, Missoula County’s fire danger level jumped to Very High on the heels of the expansive Roaring Lion Fire near Hamilton. Missoula County Fire Protection Association spokesman Jordan Koppen says Roaring lion was a wake-up call.

"We’re going to ramp it up to very high now," Koppen said. "Things are definitely really hot and dry and with windy conditions it will dry out even more. Now we're just trying to advise the public to be extremely careful and very cautious out there. Fires can happen at any time you don’t know when or where."

Although there aren’t any new restrictions, Koppen expects fire limitations to be put in place sometime next week.

"It all comes down to what  the Missoula area restrictions, all the cooperators and forests services county, decides," Koppen said. "The person that heads it up in our restrictions area will say, 'Hey, we need to have this discussion.' I'm anticipating that it could happen within the next week."


Many homeowners had less than 30 minutes to escape from the Roaring Lion fire and Koppen advises all local residents to subscribe to Smart 911 to receive urgent, possibly life-saving, updates as soon as possible.