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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.

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.

Today's forecast for Missoula from the National Weather Service
National Weather Service

Updated 7:46 p.m., August 9

Evacuations for the Horsefly Fire will be lifted at 8pm, tonight.

A crowd of around 50 people gathered in the Canyon Creek Volunteer Fire Department Friday evening cheered when Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton delivered the news.

National Weather Service

Wet thunderstorms expected to sweep western Montana through the weekend could provide wildland firefighters their best reprieve of the season yet.

That includes those attacking the Horsefly Fire east of Lincoln, the Beeskove Fire east of Missoula, and the Snow Creek Fire in the Bob Marshall Wilderness.

Montana Wildfire Roundup For August 8, 2019

Aug 8, 2019
The North Entrance Fire at Yellowstone National Park July 26, 2019
National Park Service

Updated 5:24 p.m., August 8, 2019

Wet thunderstorms expected to sweep western Montana through the weekend could provide wildland firefighters their best reprieve of the season yet.

That includes those attacking the Horsefly Fire east of Lincoln, the Beeskove Fire east of Missoula, and the Snow Creek Fire in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Learn more here.

Flathead Hotshots superintendent Shawn Borgen gives an update for the Horsefly Fire Tuesday night in Canyon Creek.
Corin Cates-Carney

Updated 4:30 p.m., August 7, 2019

Winds have pushed the Horsefly Fire east-southeast and across the Continental Divide since it was first reported Monday afternoon. The fire is now nearly 1,300 acres and 0% contained.

Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton says the evacuation order for the Flesher Acres subdivision is still in effect, and that his office has drawn up plans for a second evacuation area from Flesher Acres to Stemple pass in case it’s needed.

A helicopter working the Horsefly Fire near Lincoln, MT, August 6, 2019.
Courtesy Andrea Malucky

Updated 3:50 p.m., August 6, 2019

The Snow Creek Fire is about 20 miles northeast of Condon in the Bob Marshall Wilderness area with spotting across the South Fork of the Flathead River.

The lightning-caused fire was called in August 2 at 10 p.m. and is burning 475 acres.

A Heli-Feller, a piece of equipment designed to cut and hold the tops off trees, allows helicopters to assist ground crews clearing the areas around power lines.
Rachel Cramer / Yellowstone Public Radio

As fire season starts to heat up in Montana, the threat of electrical power lines igniting dry forests is raising concerns. Power lines started the deadliest and most expensive fire in California history last November, the Camp Fire, which destroyed the town of Paradise and killed 85 people.

The threat of vegetation falling on Montana power lines has increased in recent years due to the rising number of beetle-killed trees.

Snow Creek Fire
Courtesy of Inciweb

Updated 6:05 p.m., August 5, 2019

The Snow Creek Fire was started by lightning on August 2. The fire is burning mid to upper slope on the south facing side of the ridge that separates the Snow and Hungry Creek drainages, approximately 1.5 miles up drainage from the South Fork of the Flathead River. Fire activity increased significantly Monday afternoon.

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