HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Red flag warnings have given way to winter storm warnings in the mountains of southwestern Montana, helping firefighters battling numerous wildfires in the western part of the state.

Meteorologist Travis Booth tells the Flathead Beacon that the weather change is good news for fires and bad news for gardens because temperatures could fall below freezing in some areas.

The winter storm warning is in effect from Thursday night through Saturday morning with 3 to 8 inches (7 to 20 centimeters) of snow falling at elevations above 6,000 feet (1,828 meters). Up to a foot (30 centimeters) of snow could fall in some areas.

Fire officials say up to three-quarters of an inch (19 millimeters) of rain is forecast on the Rice Ridge Fire near Seeley Lake, which has burned 243 square miles (631 square kilometers).

Another shot of cool, wet weather is forecast for early next week.