Montana Public Radio


A citizen committee meeting Wednesday and Thursday put the finishing touches on a once-in-a-decade plan that will shape forest management in Montana.

Decades of aggressively putting out wildfires led to unhealthy, overgrown forests at particularly high risk for burns and disease outbreaks. At the same time, a patchwork of land ownership makes addressing management problems hard to do. That’s where the Montana Forest Action Plan comes in.

Crews are responding to a few wildfires across Montana.

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office has issued evacuation warning notifications for 33 residences south of Big Sky as local, state and U.S. Forest Service crews work to suppress the approximately 100 acre Porcupine Wildfire.

A nine square mile wildfire burning in the Beaverhead Deerlodge National Forest is estimated to be 75 percent contained as of Nov. 2.

The Sourdough Fire burning 14 miles west of Dell in southwest Montana was first reported on Oct. 30 burning in timber, brush and short grass.

Twelve aircraft, 11 engines and 54 firefighters are conducting burnout operations and securing the perimeter of the fire.

No structures are currently threatened and no closures are in place at this time.

People evacuating from Bridger Canyon, Sept. 5, 2020. The Bridger Foothills Fire threatened homes and forced evacuations near the fire, which started near the 'M trail' just northeast of Bozeman, MT.

State fire officials say last weekend’s record-shattering winter storm put a decisive end to Montana’s 2020 wildfire season. It will be remembered for many reasons, not the least of which is that it was the first one to take place during a global pandemic.

Mike DeGrosky describes Montana’s 2020 fire season as an oddball.

Officials with the Helena Lewis and Clark National Forest are asking for the public’s help in identifying how the Yogo Fire got started.

The Yogo Fire began Oct. 3 in the Judith Musselshell Ranger District in the Little Belt Mountains and burned more than eight square miles of timber and grasses. The fire was considered 100 percent contained as of Oct. 22.

Is this the end?

Cooler temperatures and snow Tuesday helped firefighters to improve containment lines and extinguish hot spots on the 4,900 acre Yogo Fire burning in the Little Belt Mountains. The fire is now 30 percent contained.

Firefighters are preparing for another day of strong winds with gusts up to 50 miles an hour. But the arrival of snow is expected to help extinguish spot fires.

New wildfires started in Montana this weekend, pushed by unseasonably warm temperatures for October and strong, gusty winds.

Firefighters on the 3,900 acre Yogo Fire in the Little Belt Mountains are preparing to face another Red Flag warning on Saturday, with hot temperatures, low humidity and strong gusty winds in the forecast for central Montana.

Firefighters are battling a wildfire near Marion and the Hubbart Dam. The 120-acre blaze is zero percent contained.

Montana Department of Natural Resources’ Kalispell Fire Management Officer Jeremy Pris says there are 50 firefighters, several pieces of heavy equipment and three helicopters on scene. The Hubbart Dam Fire started Tuesday afternoon.