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Entries in Montana fires (292)


Fire weather rakes across Western Montana

(MISSOULA)- It's the kind of weather which brings fear to the heart of long-time Montanans; the arrival of a strong August cold front during one of the worst fire seasons in years. 

The cold front pushed across the western half of the state Friday, prompting the National Weather Service to issue Red Flag Warnings from Libby to Dillon and east to the HiLine. Winds gusting between 20 and 40 miles per hour, combined with low humidities and the extreme drought conditions raised fears of new fire starts.

The one thing that was playing into our favor was that temperatures stayed relatively low, only reaching into the mid and upper 70s in a few locations. 

And once the cold front passed, temperatures started to plunge. NWS reports temperatures dropping by as much as 20-degrees across Northwest Montana during the late afternoon and early evening. A few thunderstorms were being generated, but without the intensity of a similar cold front last Friday, when dozens of lightning strikes started storms across the region. 

In the high country of Glacier National Park, temperatures had fallen into the low 30s, with periods of snow showers reported for a time Friday evening. 

Red Flag Warnings were set to expire Friday night. However the cold weather may still have an impact this weekend. NWS had issued a Frost Advisory with forecast temperatures expected to drop into the low 30s, even in some of the lower valleys Sunday morning. 


Perry Canyon Fire erupts in northern Tobacco Roots 

Rodney Norman photo (WHITEHALL)- For the second time in three years, firefighters are being sent into the rugged Tobacco Root Mountains south of Whitefall to attack a new blaze which started late Tuesday afternoon.

The Perry Canyon Fire had burned 20-acres by Tuesaday evening in high country covered with mountain mahogany and Douglas fir. 

The fire is burning on Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest Land, as well as private property. Fire information officer Leona Rodreick says 6-to-10 smokejumpers are attacking the fire, as well one light helicopter and some hand crews. No structures are threatened at this time. 

The blaze isn't far from a fire that burned for several days near Mammoth a few years ago. 


New fire roars to life in southern Glacier National Park

Connie Konopatzke photo(GLACIER N.P.)- Firefighting crews spent Sunday scrambling to get to a new fire that's roared to life in the Glacier National Park backcountry, in the southeast corner of the park.
The Thompson Fire was first spotted around 3 p.m. Sunday in the Thompson Creek drainage. The blaze lies southeast of Lake McDonald and west of the Upper Nyack Campground. But the location of the fire made the smoke easily visible from a broad area of the park, including St. Mary and U.S. 2 around the southern perimeter of the park. 

There have been no firm estimates on the size of the fire at this point, which is burning in the most remote corner of the park, but it's believed to be between 200 and 500 acres. Flathead National Forest had reported aircraft were being called up to the scene, with at least one helicopter in the area by Sunday evening and more in route.
The fire poses no risk to any structures. The only buildings in that corner of the park are some historic ranger cabins and outbuildings at Nyack. 



Small fires erupt in Western Montana

SEAT plane does a water drop at Arlee fire Sunday- Brian McKenzie photo(MISSOULA)- Another weekend of hot, dry weather sparked several smaller fires in Western Montana over the weekend.

But so far, fire crews have been able to keep pace with the new blazes. 

Among the new fires that started Sunday was a 5-acre blaze near Arlee, believed to have been started by some downed power lines. Because of the dry conditions, it took only a few minutes for the blaze to spread. But firefighters from Arlee and the CSKT quickly attacked the fire on the ground, with water drops from the air.

Another small fire also caused some anxious moments near Rock Creek, burning about 5-acres. Other grass fires also kept fire departments busy. 

Conditions are expected to improve Monday, although the potential for thunderstorms is causing some concern. 


Crews close to containment on Cabin Gulch Fire

(TOWNSEND)- Fire crews taking advantage of cooler weather have managed to almost completely encircle the Cabin Gulch Fire near Townsend. 

The fire, which broke out last week has consumed over 1,600 acres and forced a number of closures and evacuations during the height of the blaze in the Deep Creek drainage.  

This morning, fire managers said they've now gotten containment around 85% of the fire and are continuing operations with just under 300 crewmembers on two interagency hot shot crews. 

Authorities arrested a man for starting the fire last week. 

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