Montana Public Radio


Satellite image shows smoke from fires on the west coast blanketing the northwest U.S. Sept. 15, 2020.
NASA Worldview

The deadly wildfires scorching the west coast have produced smoke that has reached the east coast and Europe. The smoke started seeping into Montana last weekend. 

Health care professionals say it’s taking a toll on our bodies and our minds. MTPR's Edward O'Brien reports.

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

The critical fire weather and poor air quality across much of Montana will last at least until the end of the week.

Almost half of the state’s air monitoring stations bounced between "Unhealthy" and "Moderate" air quality readings Monday afternoon

Satellite image showing smoke movving toward western Montana.
GOES 16 satellite

Smoke from the west coast continues to move into Montana and is expected to bring "very unhealthy" and hazardous" air quality to parts of the state this weekend.

This update from Missoula City-County Health Department Air Quality Specialist Sarah Coefield was posted on September 12 at 6:23 p.m.

Western Montana has reaped the benefits of a weather pattern that has kept wildfire smoke at bay. Weather and air quality experts say that will likely change soon.

The Lapinsky homestead just off Bridger Canyon Drive near Bozeman, MT was one of 28 homes claimed by the Bridger Foothills Fire Sept. 05, 2020.
Courtesy Aric Lapinsky

Coming off Montana’s most active fire weekend of the summer, residents in Bridger Canyon are using the current break in the weather to reflect and regroup from the damage incurred, and avoided, from the Bridger Foothills Fire. MTPR’s Edward O’Brien caught up with two evacuated families.

The Bridger Foothills Fire northeast of Bozeman claimed 28 permanent residences as it burned 7,000 acres and forced more than 200 people to evacuate this weekend.

In an evening update Tuesday, Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin said the fire is still actively burning, but some evacuated residents of Bridger Canyon Road from Boylan Road to Jackson Creek Road were able to return to their homes Wednesday.

Cool, wet conditions are helping firefighters who are working a 7,000 acre wildfire northeast of Bozeman that started Friday. The Bridger Foothills Fire has prompted the evacuation of over 200 people.

The Bridger Foothills Fire northeast of Bozeman flared up to roughly 7,000 acres over the holiday weekend. Extreme fire behavior Saturday led to several evacuation orders and the Gallatin County Sheriff’s office says structures have been impacted and lost.

Find the most recent daily update

9/6/20, 9:10 p.m.

The Bridger Foothills Fire is burning about 7,000 acres in the Bridger Mountains northeast of Bozeman and is 0 percent contained. Smoke is visible throughout much of the Gallatin Valley. The fire started on Friday afternoon near what’s locally known as the 'M trail'. Evacuations and road closures are in effect in the area.