Montana Public Radio

Montana Wildfire Update For September 16, 2020

Sep 16, 2020

Firefighters in southeast Montana are dealing with another large wildfire started by a coal seam.

The 300 acre Wiltse Fire northeast of Ashland is in Powder River County in the Custer Gallatin National Forest in southeast Montana was started by a coal seam. The Wiltse Fire was discovered on Tuesday and federal resources are on scene. Mark Jacobsen with the Miles City office of the federal Bureau of Land Management said the fire is in an area of cured grass and brush that had previously burned and is not currently active.

Mapping of the Lone Star Fire in Yellowstone National Park shows that the fire has grown in size, mostly due to spot fires, creeping and smoldering. The lightning cause fire three miles south of the Old Faithful developed area is now listed at just over 3,900 acres.

Park officials said the fire continues to hold heat and has the potential for growth with forecasted warm temperatures, winds and low humidity. And they said widespread haze may be visible in the area through the end of the week as smoke from the Lone Star Fire mixes with smoke from Western wildfires.

Fires activity in western Montana was relatively calm Wednesday.

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