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Montana Wildfire News

Get the latest wildfire, fire management and air quality news for Western Montana and the Northern Rockies right here, on your radio during our morning and evening newscasts, via podcast, or in your inbox each day.

Barnard Junction prescribed fire on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest seen from Cold Springs Road, August 28, 2019.
TC Peterson / U.S. Forest Service

Smoke from prescribed burns in Idaho is making its way to western Montana Wednesday as the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest begins its prescribed burn season.

The fires ignited Wednesday are expected to burn for several weeks. According to Missoula County Air Quality specialist Sarah Coefield, "These burns are typically the most smoky during and immediately following ignition."

Yellowstone National Park closed a backcountry campsite in the southeast part of the park due to a new half-acre wildfire Tuesday.

Two new wildfires were reported in today, one near Wolf Creek and the other near Twin Bridges.

A small lightning-caused fire started Sunday in Yellowstone National Park as fire danger shifted from moderate to high.

A view of the the Swartz Creek Fire burning about 2 miles southeast of Clinton, MT, August 19, 2019.
Lolo National Forest

The Lolo National Forest Facebook page said this afternoon that crews were actively responding to and suppressing two new wildfires on the Missoula Ranger District.

A barbecue set up next to the Safeway in Helena sells burgers and hotdogs August 19, 2019 to benefit the Lewis and Clark Rural Fire Council. The group of more than a dozen departments builds communication among them during firefighting planning.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

Rural volunteer firefighters were some of the first crews on the scene when the North Hills Fire broke out near Helena in late July, and threatened hundreds of homes. Monday, some of those firefighters were raising money in Helena.

U.S. Drought Monitor Map of Montana, August 13, 2019.
Richard Tinker / CPC/NOAA/NWS/NCEP

The governor’s Drought and Water Supply Advisory Committee almost cancelled its monthly meeting Thursday because there isn’t really a drought issue in Montana right now.

Rachel Cramer with Yellowstone Public Radio News reports that committee members say moisture conditions look good for most of the state, and fire activity is expected to remain moderate.

Proposed road treatments for the Swamp Eddy project on the Lolo National Forest.
Lolo National Forest

The Lolo National Forest is taking public comment on an environmental assessment for a 28,000-acre project that was delayed by fire. 

The Swamp Eddy project was initiated in 2016 but was delayed the next year when the Sheep Gap Fire burned over half the area, which is about five miles southwest of Plains.

Fire aircraft working the Beeskove Fire north of Missoula were temporarily housed in a private hangar at the Missoula airport during the past weekend's thunderstorm activity.
inciweb

Fires across Montana received a fair helping of rain over the weekend, giving firefighters a hand.

Evacuations were lifted for the Horsefly Fire 13 miles east of Lincoln over the weekend. That fire was estimated at 50 percent contained and spanning 1,350 acres on Sunday.

72 hour quantitative precipitation accumulation (inches). Valid Sunday, August 11, 11 p.m.
National Weather Service Missoula

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Some Montana residents were cleaning up Monday after a series of thunderstorms brought large hail, heavy rain and strong winds that downed trees and power lines and damaged buildings and vehicles.

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