Wildfire is a part of the western Montana landscape. The geography, weather patterns, open-space and vegetation make Missoula County vulnerable to this natural event. Populated areas in Missoula County have, on average, a greater risk than 84% of counties in Montana*.
To address this challenge, local agency partners assembled a Cohesive Strategy Work Group (CSWG) in 2016; an interagency group with the desire to work on the three aspects of the Cohesive Strategy - Forest; Resilience, Fire Adapted Communities, and Coordinated Response. This group also assisted Missoula County to complete a revision of their Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) in the spring of 2018. A high priority action item in the CWPP action plan includes a review of priority landscapes and potential treatment options.
The Wildfire Adapted Missoula (WAM) Project initiative is the product of that action item encompassing 454,000 total acres, 167,000 of which are Lolo National Forest system lands, and 287,000 are Non-Federal ownership. Right now, partners are working within this project area, across jurisdictional boundaries, to improve conditions and reduce wildfire risk.
*Statistic from https://wildfirerisk.org/