Smoke from a massive wildfire in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest is visible across a large swath of southwest Montana.
The Bear Creek Fire, just across the Montana border near Salmon, Idaho, exploded overnight to more than 1,500 acres, fueled by low humidity and plentiful dry timber and brush.
Fire officials report it's threatening 5 structures and is zero percent contained.
Currently there are 139 firefighters working to contain the fire, including 31 air tankers, 5 helicopters, three engines and a tactical water tender.Currently there are 139 firefighters working to contain the Bear Creek Fire with 31 air tankers, 5 helicopters, three engines and a tactical water tender. The lightning-caused fire began Tuesday morning.
The U.S. Forest Service is devoting a lot of aerial resources to this and other wildfires as part of a national strategy to try to keep fires small and limit the spread of coronavirus among firefighting personnel.
The Fields Gulch Fire burning south of Lincoln in the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest remains at 5 acres and 20 percent contained. The fire started August 6 and is burning in remote, steep terrain with a high concentration of dead and down trees. The cause is unknown.
Extreme fire weather conditions remain through midnight tonight with red flag warnings for most of Montana and Wyoming. High winds, low relative humidity and hot temperatures are forecast.