Fire Danger moved to "Extreme" in much of western Montana this week.
Josh Burnham

A wildfire burning north of Hot Springs on the Flathead Reservation grew substantially over the past 24 hours, leading to the evacuation of one home.

The Garden Creek Fire is now listed at over 1,840 acres. According to Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribal fire prevention specialist CT Camel, that’s a 1,300-acre growth spurt since yesterday.

Air Quality Update for Western Montana, August 8, 2018

Aug 8, 2018
USDA Forest Service

Today's air report courtesy of Missoula City-County Air Quality Specialist Ben Schmidt:

Under the current high pressure ridge the smoke started to stack up in the county earlier this week. Based on Tuesday's satellite imagery a lot of the smoke impacting Western Montana was from the Cougar Creek and Crescent Mountain fires of Washington, fires in northern Idaho, Canada and others. In the satellite pictures you could see the Washington smoke heading almost due east then take a hard right turn to travel south through western Montana.

The U.S. Forest Service's National Director of Fire and Aviation Shawna Lagarza and retired USFS employee and Management Consultant Richard Stem at Rep. Gianforte's field hearing on wildfire in Hamilton, MT, August 7, 2018.
Edward O'Brien

Congressman Greg Gianforte was in Montana Tuesday talking about wildfire. The Republican was in Hamilton holding a field hearing which started on an unusual note.

CS&KT forester James Lozeau and team on the Garden Creek Fire, August 6, 2018.

A wildfire burning east of Medicine Lake in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest was discovered yesterday afternoon around 4 p.m. Forest officials estimate the Medicine Lake 2 Fire, located in the Pintler Ranger District, to be about 45 acres.


A weekend of lower temperature and higher humidity brought no substantial new wildfire starts across the state, and allowed firefighters to make a dent in existing blazes. 

Forecasters say to expect increasing fire danger and more smoke as the week progresses.