Montana Public Radio


Montana Wildfire Roundup For July 29, 2019

Jul 29, 2019
A map of the North Hills fire area and associated evacuation zones, current as of the morning of July 29, 2019.

Updated 4:45 p.m., July 29, 2019

Lewis and Clark County Emergency Management says it will live-stream tonight's 6:00 p.m. public meeting on the North Hills Fire on it's Facebook page, and that Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation will, too. Click here to go to Lewis and Clark County Emergency Management's Facebook page.

Montana Wildfire Roundup For July 28, 2019

Jul 28, 2019
Map of the North Hills fire perimeter and evacuation areas, published 4PM Sunday here:

Updated 10:03 p.m., July 28, 2019

For the North Hills fire, the Red Cross has opened a shelter at Helena First Assembly of God church 2210 Dodge Ave.

Duane Buchi, a spokesperson for the team fighting the North Hills fire says, “the weather treated us a little bit better today, not quite the same winds that we had (Saturday), and fairly moderate (fire) behavior.”

Montana Wildfire Roundup For July 27, 2019

Jul 27, 2019
The Beeskove Fire approximately six miles north of Missoula on Friday, July 26, 2019
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio

Updated 8:30 p.m. July 27, 2019

The Lewis & Clark County Sheriff has ordered more evacuations due to the North Hills Fire near Helena. American Bar and Eldorado Heights Subdivision are now included in the evacuation order. The Sheriff's Office says the fire is descending on Black Sandy Loop and they want to be prepared in case the fire jumps the river.

A helicopter drops water on the Beeskove fire north of Missoula July 26, 2019.
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio

Updated 10:45 p.m. July 26, 2019.

The Lewis and Clark County Sheriffs Office has ordered evacuations near Helena due to growing danger from the North Hills Fire. Residents near the intersection of Snowdrift and Ferry, east to Hauser Dam Road are ordered to evacuate the area.

A helicopter drops water on the Bannack Fire, July 25, 2019.

Another north-central Montana county has instituted burn restrictions because of weather conditions that could lead to rapidly spreading fires from errant sparks or unattended fires.

Thursday, Cascade County issued an open-burning ban in effect until further notice. Toole County also has a countywide burn ban, while Jefferson and Lewis and Clark counties have banned debris burning.

The Beeskove Fire north of Missoula on the evening of July 24, 2019.
Lolo National Forest

Updated 5:45 p.m., July 25.

The two-day-old Beeskove Fire in the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area north of Missoula grew from less than an acre to roughly 35 acres overnight.

Several trails were closed today, including the main Rattlesnake Creek Trail, East Fork Rattlesnake Trail, Mineral Peak Trail, Rattlesnake Horse Trailhead and portions of the Sheep Mountain Trail.

The Beeskove fire north of Missoula, July 24, 2019. Forest officials say the fire is burning in difficult terrain including cliff bands, rock scree and rolling debris.
Lolo National Forest

The Beeskove Fire in the Rattlesnake Recreation area north of Missoula was mapped at 0.6 acres, with no new growth overnight. A Facebook post from the Lolo National Forest says hotshot crews cut an access line into the fire yesterday and established a saw line up and around the entire fire perimeter.

Wednesday, firefighters focused on clearing vegetation from the initial saw-line to strengthen containment.

Hot, dry weather has settled over Montana and brought with it wildfires, burn bans and red flag warnings.

An aerial view of the Beeskove fire in the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area near Missoula, July 23, 2019.
Lolo National Forest

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the size of the fire. The fire was actually 0.5 acres when discovered, not 5 acres.

A lightning-caused fire was reported in the Rattlesnake Recreation Area north of Missoula. The Lolo National Forest posted on its Facebook page that the fire was called into the Missoula Interagency Dispatch Center at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The fire is located approximately 4.5 miles up the main Rattlesnake travel corridor (Trail 515), on the south side of Rattlesnake Creek.

A National Weather Service advisory for elevated fire danger for July 24-25 in north-central and southwest Montana.
National Weather Service.

North-central and southwest Montana are facing elevated fire danger this week, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

After a fairly cool, wet summer, the area is beginning to see the dry, warm weather that could lead to fires.