There've been smiles all around after the past few days of sunny, and warmer-than-normal temperatures across Montana.

But fire managers are already worried about the risk of blazes breaking out as a result of an already meager winter, and this latest dry spell.

The Missoula County Fire Protection Association is already raising the fire danger to "moderate", effective immediately.

RELATED: Governor Briefed on Challenging Montana Fire Season

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Fires already starting

Several fire departments have already been called out to deal with grass and brush fires. And this past weekend, a fire broke out in the mountains south of Skalkaho Pass, burning more than a hundred acres of meadows and timber.

MCFPA leaders say the conditions of the past few days are raising the risk of more fires in the coming days.

What does "moderate" fire danger mean?

"Moderate" is the first stage where the risk of fires begins to climb. It means conditions are dry enough that "fires readily start in open, dry grassland and will burn and spread quickly on windy days."

Fires in the trees can slow slowly to moderately.

Time to be careful

MCFPA managers say, on average, three out of every four wildfires in Missoula County are "human-caused". The top fire starts are from debris and opening burning fires that are unattended and can get out of control, escaped or abandoned campfires, equipment and vehicle use such as mowing operations in dry grass and brush. Fireworks are another problem, and not just around the 4th of July.

Open burning is still permitted in Missoula County but caution is urged, especially with windy conditions forecast the rest of this week.

Keep up on fire restrictions

The MCFPA website has all of the latest restrictions and precautions. And if you're traveling to another part of the state, you can learn about local restrictions in different areas by going to the state website.

Montana's 'Exotic Noncontrolled Species'

Here's a sample of some of the exotic animals that the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks consider "noncontrolled species" meaning they aren't prohibited unless it falls under Montana or Federal law. For more information about these species and other "exotic noncontrolled species" refer to the guidance from Montana Fish Wildlife, and Parks.

Gallery Credit: Ashley