How Montana's Wildfires get their names - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

How Montana's Wildfires get their names

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From the Lolo Peak Fire to the Lodgepole Complex Fire, fires are popping up across the state.

Little Hogback and others like the Sapphire Complex often have strange and intriguing names.

 So ABC FOX Montana went out to investigate who chooses these names.

According to Wildfire Officials, it’s the first commander on the scene.

"It's from the commander that is first at the fire and the fires are usually named after something geographical in the area it started in,” said Robert Morales, Forest On-Duty Officer.

Morales says it's the features you would see in the area.

"It could be a river, mountain, lake or canyon,” said Morales. “So it's easier to identify it that way."

For the Sapphire Complex Fire, it’s in the Sapphire Mountains.

And the Sunrise Fire is along the Sunrise Creek.

Morales says each fire has to have its own unique name.

"It helps us fire managers to determine where the fire is,” said Morales. It helps to make priorities so we know where the fires are at.”

The way they keep names and areas the same across the board is through dispatch.

"Dispatchers have an ongoing list of all the fires and if that fire has already been used then they tell the commander," said Morales.

Morales says a lot of thought goes into the names.

"You have to be careful in how we name them,” said Morales. “For some of the fires they have a meaning for people."

If you would like to keep up to date on the wildfires moving across Montana go here

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