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What wildfires mean for our health in a changing climate

The 2023 Montana wildfire season was slow to start. Average snowpack combined with rain in much of the state, spared an early fire season. Recent hot days and dry fuels, however, have now put Montana into active fire season with over 40,000 acres burned by early August. Montana’s average annual temperatures have been getting hotter and are currently 2.7 degrees F warmer than at the start of the Industrial Revolution. This warming fuels wildfires, drought, snowpack loss and extreme heat.

In late July, Gov. Greg Gianforte asked the federal government to declare a drought disaster for 11 Montana...

 

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