Fire Season

Schoolhouse Fire
10:08 am
Mon August 19, 2013

New lightning-caused fire south of Missoula grows to 250 acres

Schoolhouse fire burning between Lolo and Missoula Sunday night
Credit Sally Mauk

The lightning-caused Schoolhouse fire burning north and west of Lolo has grown to 250 acres. The fire is the largest of several new fires started by a lightning storm that moved through Saturday night. Smoke from this fire is visible in Missoula and it is one of two fires now burning in the Highway 12 corridor between the community of Lolo and Lolo Pass. The West Fork Two fire south of the highway is 60 acres. Information officer Cindy Super says none of the fires are currently threatening any structures.

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Fire Season
2:50 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Wildfire funding holding strong, but fire season is not over yet

Credit Sally Mauk

Montana’s State Forester Monday said the state’s wildfire suppression fund still has the vast majority of the funding provided to it by the 2013 Legislature.

"I think we're doing relatively well, certainly compared to last year," State Forester Bob Harrington said.

So far in 2013, the state is sitting at a little less than $2 million dollars in estimated fire costs, out of a wildfire suppression fund of about $20 million. 810 fires have been reported so far, burning 43,000 acres.

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Fire update
2:51 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Slow but steady progress on wildfires

Firefighters report significant progress on the Firestone Flats fire burning about 6 miles outside of Arlee.
       The fire started Saturday afternoon and within hours blew up into a 700 acre incident.
       Fire information officer, Cindy Super, says the crews will continue to work around the clock to build line around that fire.  If they continue to make progress and conditions hold,  pending evacuations will come to an end at 5:00 Thursday afternoon.

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Breaking
3:11 pm
Sun July 28, 2013

Latest update of the Jocko Canyon fire

Youpa Stein provided this wonderful shot of a helicopter working the Firestone Flats fire yesterday.
Credit Youpa Stein

Fire Information – Firestone Flats

Cause: Under Investigation

Detected: July 27, 2013

Location: Approximately 5 miles east northeast of Arlee, MT.

Size: 1,388 acres on Saturday, July 27 at 7:00 PM

Jurisdiction: Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes, Lake County Current Status: Today, Sunday, July 28th, the fire is listed at 0 percent containment. Fire activity was erratic and extreme yesterday resulting in multiple evacuations.

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Breaking
6:31 pm
Sat July 27, 2013

Jocko Canyon evacuations complete for now

Teams on the ground and in the air are working to beat down the as-of-yet officially unnamed Jocko Canyon area fire near Arlee. Lolo National Forest spokesman Boyd Hartwig tells us it stands at 700 acres with Lolo Hotshots on the ground. A single engine air tanker and heavy air tanker is working from above.  The Seeley Lake Ranger district will be closing the Forest Service portion of Jocko road for public safety. Scattered evacuations along Jocko Road are complete for the time being. 

Breaking
5:51 pm
Sat July 27, 2013

Jock Canyon fire update

Lake County Sheriff's department spokeswoman, Karen Sargent, says 18 homes have been evacuated as a result of the Jocko Canyon fire. None of them - at least to her knowledge - have been lost or damaged.  Also the fire has not yet been officially named. More updates as we get them....

Breaking
5:35 pm
Sat July 27, 2013

Jocko Canyon Fire

The Jocko Canyon smoke plume as seen from Missoula.
Credit Edward O'Brien

A new wildfire burning in the Jocko Canyon area is throwing up a huge smoke plume easily visible from Missoula. A Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes Division of Fire dispatcher, identifying himself as Buttercup, says law enforcement has blocked roads from the reservation to Seeley Lake. The Jocko Canyon road is now blocked to traffic, as is the St Mary's Lake road. Buttercup says evacuation orders have been issued for homes in the Jocko Canyon.  Early estimates of the fire stood at 500 acres, but Buttercup tells us smoke was laying low making next to impossible to confirm that number.

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Mill Creek Fire
4:14 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Homes Saved from Mill Creek Fire

The Mill Creek fire west of Missoula burned within a hundred yards of homes before being stopped
Credit Sally Mauk

Firefighters are feeling a lot better today about the 720-acre Mill Creek fire that broke out yesterday between Frenchtown and Missoula.

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Mill Creek fire
5:49 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

New fire breaks out between Frenchtown and Missoula

Mill Creek fire burning just east of Frenchtown
Credit Sally Mauk

A new  wildfire burning just east of Frenchtown and west of Missoula has grown to over 550 acres and prompted several evacuations. The fire - started by a mower sparking on a rock this afternoon - has forced homeowners between Mill Creek and Fred Lane to evacuate as firefighters attack the blaze from the ground and the air. (see map) So far, there are no reports of homes lost to the fire.

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Breaking
3:03 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Wildfire forces more evacuations near Superior

West Mullan fire burning near Superior
Credit Sally Mauk

The Mineral County sheriff's office issued more evacuation orders today as temperatures rose and the humidity decreased on the West Mullan fire burning north of Superior. Strong winds yesterday pushed the fire to over 3600 acres. Information officer Pat McKelvey says the fire took a big run but they're making some progress today. At least 100 homes have been evacuated since the fire started on Sunday, with the latest evacuations in the Keystone area near the fire. No structures have been lost so far.

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