New wildfires started in Montana this weekend, pushed by unseasonably warm temperatures for October and strong, gusty winds.
High winds on Saturday caused the Yogo Fire burning in central Montana’s Little Belt Mountains to increase in size by nearly 400 acres. Erin Fryer, the Public Information Officer for the Helena Lewis and Clark National Forest, said Saturday’s growth was from spot fires in the Morris Creek and Elk Saddle areas of the forest. Cooler temperatures and light precipitation both Sunday and Monday are dampening the spot fires. The Yogo Fire is nearly 4,500 acres in size, zero percent contained and the cause is under investigation.
In east-central Montana, the 800 acre Box Car Fire began late Saturday afternoon on Bureau of Land Management land west of Jordan in Garfield County. Structures, energy infrastructure and sage grouse habitat are threatened. The cause of the Box Car Fire is under investigation and it’s 50 percent contained.
In southeastern Montana, the lightning-caused Wolf Fire started Friday afternoon on private land 7 miles north of Lame Deer. The 424 acre fire is burning in timber and grass and is 85 percent contained. Air tankers, helicopters and engines from federal and county resources are on the fire lines.