News Department:

Missoula News:
Eric Whitney, News Director: 406-243-4075, @mtprnd

Edward O'Brien, Assistant News Director: 406-243-4065

Helena News:
Corin Cates-Carney, Capitol Reporter: 253-495-5193, @clccarney

Flathead News:
Nicky Ouellet, Flathead-area Reporter: 603-568-6155 or 406-730-2264, @nickydoesradio

A firefighter working on the Beeskove Fire in the Rattlesnake Recreation Are near Missoula.
Lolo National Forest

Updated 5:19 p.m., August 1, 2019

Lightning near the south end of the Bitterroot National Forest Wednesday night has sparked a one-tenth acre fire west of Hamilton in the Canyon Creek drainage next to Blodgett Canyon.

Forest Service spokesperson Tod McKay says a few firefighters have been working on the blaze near Barley Creek this afternoon; helicopters have also made water bucket drops.

Evening Newscast 8-1-19

Aug 1, 2019

Last night's lightning storms have firefighters around Helena, Missoula and Hamilton chasing reports of smoke and new fires in area forests.

Eight new fire starts were reported north of Helena today, while evacuation orders were lifted for the North Hills fire, the largest fire burning in the area.

Lightning near the south end of the Bitterroot National Forest last night has sparked a one-tenth acre fire west of Hamilton in the Canyon Creek drainage next to Blodgett Canyon.

Evening Newscast 7-31-19

Jul 31, 2019

A new fire has started roughly four miles south of Wise River in the Beaverhead National Forest.

Officials are closely watching a small fire started by lightning last night in the south end of the Bitterroot National Forest.

Southwest and a portion of central Montana are under a National Weather Service red flag warning through nine tonight.

Evening Newscast 07-30-19

Jul 30, 2019

Fire season is in full swing for Montana.

A former Miles City high school athletic trainer who admitted to coercing boys into sexual abuse under the guise of improving their athletic performance has been sentenced to 12 years in federal prison.

An 18-year-old girl from the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation was declared missing today.

A view of the North Hills Fire on the morning of July 28, 2019.

There’s a public meeting about the North Hills Fire being held at this hour at the Helena Valley Community Center. That fire, first reported Friday afternoon, quickly blew up to more than 4,000 acres, causing evacuation orders to be issued for an estimated 400 homes.

Among the evacuees is Erin Vang, who left her home Saturday quickly.

Evening Newscast 07-29-19

Jul 29, 2019

So far, the predicted high winds forecast for the Helena area have not materialized, making things a little easier for more than 300 firefighters battling the North Hills' fire about nine miles northeast of town.

The latest update on the Beeskove fire just outside Missoula has it at 182 acres and 0% contained.

Police in Medford, Oregon, say Montana authorities have found a body believed to be that of a missing Oregon child.

A helicopter drops water on the Beeskove fire north of Missoula July 26, 2019.
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio

Updated 10:45 p.m. July 26, 2019.

The Lewis and Clark County Sheriffs Office has ordered evacuations near Helena due to growing danger from the North Hills Fire. Residents near the intersection of Snowdrift and Ferry, east to Hauser Dam Road are ordered to evacuate the area.

Evening Newscast 07-26-19

Jul 26, 2019

The incident commander on the wildfire burning about six miles north of Missoula says he’s bracing for some weather-related challenges this weekend.

The Moss Ranch fire on the Flathead Indian Reservation has grown to 450-acres in a matter of days.

Black bear sniffing dumpster near Ice Box Canyon in Yellowstone National Park.
Jim Peaco (PD)

Unsecured food has led to the death of two black bears in Yellowstone National Park this summer, with officials trying to capture a third. The severity of the issue has prompted park officials to issue reminders on the importance on properly storing food.

Evening Newscast 07-25-19

Jul 25, 2019

Two people are dead from gunshot wounds after a traffic stop and pursuit in Kalispell last night.

Yellowstone National Park officials are urging visitors to properly store food amid a series of problems with black bears.

The two-day-old Beeskove Fire in the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area north of Missoula grew from less than an acre to roughly 35 acres overnight.