Starting on Independence Day, much of western Montana will see an increase in the fire danger level, DNRC Fire prevention officer Jordan Koppen explains.

"We have a change in fire danger," Koppen said. "We are going to raise it up to moderate fire danger from low. We are also closing open burning for the season for this summer."

Koppen says the weather this week and the potential for fireworks jumped up the danger level.

"Forecasters are predicting hotter and dryer conditions for the next couple of days," Koppen said. "Things are probably going to get up into the high 80s and low 90s. When those conditions occur, we expect grasses to dry out and vegetation to dry up a little bit and that is causing more of a threat for fire danger."

The fire danger this year is a full step behind what it was last year. On July 3rd of 2017 the fire danger level jumped to high to start what would become Montana’s worst fire season so far.