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Wildfire, fire management and air quality news for western Montana and the Northern Rockies.

Montana Wildfire Roundup For August 19, 2016

The Maple Fire in Yellowstone National Park burns through a variety of fuels on August 14, 2016
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The Maple Fire in Yellowstone National Park burns through a variety of fuels on August 14, 2016

The latest on wildfires around western Montana.

Last Update: 10:00 a.m. 08/19/16

In Yellowstone National Park, five fires continue to burn over 10,000 acres. Some, like the 191 acre Boundary Fire and the one acre Thumb Fire, are being suppressed with teams of smoke jumpers and other aerial resources.

Other fires in the park, like the 12,199 acre Maple Fire, the 2,089 acre Buffalo Fire, and the 1,000 acre Fawn Fire, are being allowed to burn for the benefit of park ecosystems.

Closures due to the Boundary Fire run from the intersection of Highway 191 and Duck Creek Road (#2523 south side of the road), to Yellowstone National Park boundary, including the fishing access road at the end of Duck Creek road, south along YNP line to the north side of the Madison River bluff, then north along east side of highway 191 back to the starting point, excluding the transfer station and road #6794.

Elsewhere in Montana, the Copper King Fire just outside of Thompson Falls and a mile north of Highway 200 continues to grow. It has reached 2,700 acres.

Officials say that they will continue to monitor structures and private property, and that the safety of their firefighters and the public is the top priority. The fire has moved into steep and dangerous terrain, limiting the amount of ground work that crews are able to do.

On the Roaring Lion Fire five miles southwest of Hamilton, crews continue to monitor and address the fuel burning in the Ward Bowl area and Sawtooth Canyon. The fire remains at 8,465 acres and 70 percent contained.

Crews are focused on dropping water onto new ground fuel and securing the eastern flank of the fire. Officials are communicating with home owners and residents to maintain the public's safety.

Although there may be increased smoke over the next few days, that is not necessarily an indicator of heightened fire activity.

The Black Mountain Fire north of Lincoln has increased from five to 13 acres, with 60 people working on containment.

There are currently no evacuations or closures in place. Crews will continue to secure the fire's perimeter and use resources to stop the fire from spreading any further.

The one acre Nez Perce Fire ten miles northeast of Butte is burning through terrain that is inaccessible and dangerous to firefighters. Aerial crews have been dropping water on the fire since it was detected yesterday.

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