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Rain dampening wildfire forecast in many areas

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Gov. Steve Bullock says wildfires still pose a risk later this summer despite the rainy weather that has hit much of the state.

Bullock kicked off wildfire awareness week with a Monday briefing from more than a dozen state and federal land managers and fire experts.

Bullock was told that the big rains east of the Continental Divide have dampened predictions for an active and early fire season in eastern Montana.

But southwestern Montana has seen less rain and still has a lot of dead trees that could lead to an active late-summer fire season.

Bullock says half of all wildfires are caused by people. He says activities around the state over the next week will highlight better ways to prevent such fires.

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