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 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. 

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

Kalispell police say an officer stopped a vehicle, speaking with a man and woman inside, before the driver sped away.  After a brief pursuit, officers placed stop sticks and the vehicle slowly pulled over.

Evening Newscast 07-24-19

Jul 24, 2019

Federal prosecutors are asking a Montana judge to sentence a former athletic trainer accused of sexually abusing Miles City high school children to 15 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

Authorities say more than two dozen children who were removed from an alternative treatment center in northwest Montana are being interviewed as part of an investigation into allegations of physical and psychological abuse. 

The Beeskove fire north of Missoula, July 24, 2019. Forest officials say the fire is burning in difficult terrain including cliff bands, rock scree and rolling debris.
Lolo National Forest

The Beeskove Fire in the Rattlesnake Recreation area north of Missoula was mapped at 0.6 acres, with no new growth overnight. A Facebook post from the Lolo National Forest says hotshot crews cut an access line into the fire yesterday and established a saw line up and around the entire fire perimeter.

Wednesday, firefighters focused on clearing vegetation from the initial saw-line to strengthen containment.

Evening Newscast 07-23-19

Jul 23, 2019

The Montana state health department has removed 27 children from the Ranch for Kids in Rexford citing “serious allegations of egregious, chronic, and persistent child abuse and neglect.”

A lightning-caused fire was reported in the Rattlesnake recreation area North of Missoula. 

An aerial view of the Beeskove fire in the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area near Missoula, July 23, 2019.
Lolo National Forest

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the size of the fire. The fire was actually 0.5 acres when discovered, not 5 acres.

A lightning-caused fire was reported in the Rattlesnake Recreation Area north of Missoula. The Lolo National Forest posted on its Facebook page that the fire was called into the Missoula Interagency Dispatch Center at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The fire is located approximately 4.5 miles up the main Rattlesnake travel corridor (Trail 515), on the south side of Rattlesnake Creek.

Evening Newscast 7-22-19

Jul 22, 2019

Montana on average is looking pretty good for moisture this month, but the western part of the state is leaning slightly dry, while southeast Montana is on the moist side.

Hazardous contaminants flowing down from Canadian mines have prompted Kootenai-River communities to seek stronger protections.

Northcentral and southwest Montana are facing elevated fire danger this week, according to the National Weather Service.