Spruce fire burns in Yellowstone National Park

Flames and smoke from the Spruce fire at seen from the air on Sunday.

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For a few months each year, we are captivated by fire. Every passing lightning storm makes us wonder if a plume of white smoke has just shot up in the mountains. And when it has, and the fire has a chance to grow, the smoke settles in the valleys, blurring the views we sometimes take for granted.

Newspaper headlines scream out the latest tidbits: "X fire doubles in size," "Smokejumpers headed to Y fire," "Rain quells Z Fire." And even then, there are a few dozen other fires you never hear about.

What we aim to do with the Fire Line is to keep you informed about the fires here in our backyard and to keep you apprised of what's happening around the state. We'll point you toward Chronicle stories about local fires and we'll point you to news coverage of the blazes that aren't so local. We'll offer updates when we can about where our local firefighters are going — they go a lot of places. Most of all, we want to help you understand what's going on out there in this frantic time of year. 

We'll try to post something new every day, even if it's a basic roundup of what's happening everywhere but here. 

If you have questions, concerns, story ideas (especially story ideas), reach out to environmental reporter Michael Wright at 406-582-2638 or via email at mwright@dailychronicle.com

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Michael Wright can be reached at mwright@dailychronicle.com or at 582-2638. Follow him on Twitter @mj_wright1.