Senator Daines stopped by Missoula Wednesday for a special update on the current status of the Beeskove Fire.
Crews working on the fire told the senator that they are prepared to fight the fire no matter which direction it ends up going.
"There’s great cooperation between the forest service at the federal level, the county, the state, to local officials here. We have got excellent leadership working together," Senator Steve Daines said.
Officials from multiple organizations met at the Beeskove Fire base today to discuss one important question.
"The question now is where is the season going to go from here,” Long Term Fire Analyst Tonja Opperman said.
Opperman explained as she address an Energy Release Component Chart, this year the fire season was below average, shown by a thick black line going through the middle of the cart. But around July 23the black line shoots straight up.
“You can see when the Beeskove started and made its run, then we were officially above average," Opperman said.
Where the black line on the graph dips back down, just after August first, shows the rain Missoula got that week.
While the rain slowed the growth of the fire Opperman and her team are able to predict where the fire could go next using a Fire Spread Probability Program that was developed right here in Missoula.
"We ran 3,000 simulations, so we rolled the dice and used actual weather that has been taken from the last twenty years" Opperman said.
Opperman pulled up a map that showed the outline of the current Beeskove fire surrounded by multiple color blotches.
The red areas show where the fire is most likely to go next, with the next colors out becoming less and less likely.
"It’s great to see the fruits of labor going into the fire lab here in Missoula will be used on the front lines of the fire right here," Daines said.
Crews were also able to show off aerial footage of the fire taken from a drone.
Wednesday firefighters will complete construction of indirect lines and fuel breaks on the east edge of the Beeskove Fire, toward highway 200. Crews will now have fire lines on both sides of the fire.