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

Two New Wildfires Detected Near Missoula

A view of the the Swartz Creek Fire burning about 2 miles southeast of Clinton, MT, August 19, 2019.
Lolo National Forest

The Lolo National Forest Facebook page said this afternoon that crews were actively responding to and suppressing two new wildfires on the Missoula Ranger District.

About two miles southeast of Clinton, the Swartz Creek Fire was detected at approximately 1 p.m., and is burning in steep terrain with poor access. Its size is estimated at about one acre. Two helicopters were dropping water on the fire and were reportedly making good progress as crews worked to gain access to it on the ground. No structures were threatened, nor were there any closures associated with the fire. It was exhibiting moderately active fire behavior in heavy timber on a slope near the top of a ridge line. The cause of the fire was unknown.

About 20 miles south of I-90 off Rock Creek Road, the half-acre Miller Gulch Fire was burning about two miles east of the Bitterroot Flat campground. It was detected shortly after the Swartz Creek Fire by aircraft in the area. It was burning on the upper third of a ridgeline in grass and open timber in steep terrain where foot access will be difficult. No structures are threatened and there are no closures. Helicopters were ordered and an engine was responding at the time of the Facebook post.

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