U.S.F.S. Kootenai National Forest
Fire Update—Monday, July 26, 10 a.m.

The Burnt Peak Fire was reported at 2,715 acres, 19% contained on Monday, January  26. The South Yaak Fire was reported at 1,523 and 10% contained. Both fires grew about 300 acres on Sunday, July 25. The overnight inversion created a thermal belt midway up the mountains where temperatures remained warm with low humidity, allowing the fires to remain active overnight.
Monday’s weather was expected to be similar to Sunday’s but with increased atmospheric instability. Potential for fire growth does remain high.
All residents should be Ready to evacuate if requested.


Find the full update, more photos, and maps of each fire:

South Yaak Fire → https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7696/

Burnt Peak Fire → https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7619/



HELENA – A Watercraft Inspector Appreciation Week is scheduled for Aug. 2-8.
Watercraft inspection stations are the first line of defense to protect Montana’s water from the harmful impacts of aquatic invasive species.

Inspectors are trained to examine a wide variety of
motorized and non-motorized boats, some with complex internal systems and ballast tanks that need special consideration to inspect and decontaminate. They follow a check list to ensure all watercraft are free of invasive plants, animals and standing water. Inspectors work at more than 20 roadside watercraft inspection stations located across the state that are operated by FWP and partner organizations.

If you appreciate the work your local watercraft inspectors and other partners are doing, please feel free to let them know.  A planned “Adopt an Inspection Station” concept has been canceled by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks after review of policy and state law. Instead of gifts to inspectors, a simple expression of thanks would be great.

Stakeholders and the public may also consider posting (and tag @ProtectOurWatersMontana) on social media to honor the inspectors who work hard to engage the public, ensure boats are cleaned, drained and dry before they launch in Montana waters, and protect our waters.

Find information about Montana’s watercraft inspection stations at:


Process to Reduce Unemployment Fraud

HELENA, Mont. – On Wednesday, July 21, Governor Greg Gianforte announced a new process for Montana employers to notify the Montana Department of
Labor & Industry (DLI) if an unemployment insurance (UI) claimant fails to
appear for a scheduled interview.

“We’ve recently heard from employers across the state with a common
complaint: candidates for open positions submit applications and schedule
interviews, only to skip out on it,” Governor Gianforte said. “This new process established by Commissioner Esau will cut down on wasted time for Montana small businesses and ensure UI claimants are adhering to program rules.”

Montana law requires UI claimants to make an active, good-faith effort to
secure employment every week benefits are claimed. Scheduling an interview
to complete a weekly work search requirement, but then failing to appear for that interview, may violate UI program rules.

DLI Commissioner Laurie Esau added, “Some restaurants have said they scheduled half a dozen interviews or more on a given day, and had only a
single applicant actually show up – if any at all. To be sure, there are plenty of legitimate reasons why an applicant misses an interview. Many of the
individuals who skip out on an interview may not even be UI claimants at all.
But if a UI claimant is scheduling an interview to complete his or her work search requirements, and then fails to make a good-faith effort to appear and obtain
a job offer, that may impact his or her eligibility for UI benefits going forward.”

Employers who submit information about declined or missed interviews may be contacted by fraud investigators for more information. However, the outcome of the audit will remain between the claimant and the department.

UI claimants are encouraged to consult the Claimant Handbook to ensure
they remain in compliance with work search requirements.

If an individual is receiving UI benefits and then refuses an official offer of work, it may impact their ability to continue receiving benefits. In these cases, employers are encouraged to notify UI and complete the Refusal of Work
Report form and return it to uieservices@mt.gov or log on to UI eServices for Employers and attach it to a secure web message.