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

Montana Wildfire Roundup For July 27, 2018

Smoke from the Bacon Rind Fire fills the sky, July 26, 2018.
Smoke from the Bacon Rind Fire fills the sky, July 26, 2018.

Wildfire activity was minimal in Montana today, but a fire weather warning is in effect until 9 p.m for the Lolo National Forest area from Drummond through Missoula and to Thompson Falls, including Seeley Lake.

Corby Dickerson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service says issuing the warning gives a heads-up for those doing initial attack on wildfires.

“For thunderstorm activity, we anticipate quite a bit of lightning this afternoon with these thunderstorms. And the current status of fuels has evolved to a point where this could come problematic for fire managers and initial response and initial attack to any fire that may start from these thunderstorms.”

Dickerson says they have already seen lightning hitting the ground. Thunderstorms started developing in the west Lolo National Forest and are will continue to develop as they move east.

Dickerson says the strongest storms will occur in the next several hours and should die-down by 9 p.m. tonight. 

There was minimal growth today on the Bacon Rind Fire, burning 20 miles south of Big Sky in the Lee Metcalf Wilderness. Last reported at 393 acres, the fire isn't threatening any structures.  Two crews are assigned to the fire. Officials say they're prepared to engage the fire if it moves toward Highway 191 and private lands to the north.

According to Inciweb, the 1,068 acre Reynolds Lake Fire burning 35 miles southwest of Darby is now 70 percent contained. Four crews, two engines and two helicopters are working on mop-up and dousing hot-spots inside the perimeter. Fire officials expect changing weather conditions next week that could fuel fire activity.

The Highway 37 Fire burning on about 70 acres outside Libby is now being called 40 percent contained, that’s up from 10 percent containment Thursday.

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