Montana Public Radio

Montana Wildfire Update For August 4, 2020

Aug 4, 2020

The human caused Falling Star Fire burning northwest of Laurel in south central Montana is still listed as 80 percent contained, but firefighting efforts got a big boost Monday night from rainfall from an overnight thunderstorm. Most of the crews working the fire lines have been released but a few fire trucks from local companies are still patrolling the containment lines.

State and local resources are on the scene of the Horse Creek 2 Fire in Big Horn County. The 1,600 acre fire started on Monday and is burning in grass, shrubs and ponderosa pine. The cause of the fire is unknown and is zero percent contained.

The lightning caused Old Baldy Fire burning northeast of Sheridan in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest is listed at 129 acres and is zero percent contained. Crews have been working to construct a contingency line along the western edge of the fire where many dead trees made it difficult to engage the fire directly. Sixty-six fire personnel are on scene, including 15 smokejumpers and 4 helicopters. Additional firefighting resources are expected to arrive Tuesday.

The Magpie Rock Fire southwest of Dixon is 62% contained, according to an update from the CSKT Division of Fire Monday afternoon. A total of 330 personnel are working the 3,500 acre fire. Fire officials say crews will continue to work on mop-up around the the fire's edges today. The fire isn't threatening any structures. The D-6000 road between Revais and Magpie, as well as Magpie D-5000 road are closed.

As of Monday morning Northern Rockies Coordinating Center report, the Horseshoe Fire 11 miles west of Ronan was showing minimal fire behavior and listed as 140 acres and 60% contained. It's not threatening any structures.

As of Tuesday morning, the Bon Accord Fire was approximately 190 acres, and around 110 firefighters from state, local and federal agencies are working to contain it. Officials say the fire is mostly creeping with isolated torching, and the fire may be a threat to a microwave site in the area.

A fire was reported Monday afternoon on Bird Island in Flathead Lake, three miles southwest of Blue Bay. The fire is estimated at .2 acres. The 30 acre island has been closed to public use.

A forest service press release says the fire will not be actively supressed due to safety concerns for firefighters.

“There is a lot of dense undergrowth, downed or hanging tree snags and other hazards that make it unsafe for firefighters,” said Neil Anderson, FWP Regional Wildlife Manager.

“We recognize there may be concerns about the fire’s damage to the island but the risk to the safety of the firefighters is too significant to actively engage the fire.”

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Fire officials remind people to drown all campfires and stir the ashes until they're cool enough to touch. Drivers and atv riders should take care to avoid sparking fires with hot vehicles, dragging chains or by parking in dry grass.