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

Northwestern Energy: Downed power line may have sparked the West Wind Fire

transformers on the electric pole and wire
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Transformers on the electric pole and wire, stock photo.

The West Wind Fire in Fergus County is still zero percent contained but was showing minimal fire activity today.

A County Assist team from the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation took command of firefighting Thursday. Enhanced mapping shows the size of the fire as 10,644 acres, down from an earlier estimate.

Crews continue to secure lines around the perimeter and extinguish any hot spots. Initial assessments show the blaze destroyed 25 primary residences, 18 secondary structures and 6 commercial properties.

A power line belonging to NorthWestern Energy may have been the cause the fire.

A NorthWestern Energy spokesperson said late Thursday that the utility is helping investigate the possibility that a strong wind event downed a line southwest of Denton and started the West Wind fire.

The fire was first reported Tuesday, Nov. 30. DNRC says the cause of the fire is under investigation.

There will be a public meeting concerning the West Wind Fire Saturday at 10 a.m. at Denton High School.

Copyright 2021 Yellowstone Public Radio. To see more, visit Yellowstone Public Radio.

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