Montana News

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Indian Ridge Fire near Darby grows to 4,000 acres

The lightning-caused Indian Ridge Fire, burning 30 miles southwest of Darby in the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness, has grown 4,000 acres, according to InciWeb. That's an increase of 1,438 acres from the last time the fire was mapped. Officials report the fire has been active along the western and northern flanks, north of Indian Creek. The fire is burning in a steep, rugged remote terrain where surface fuels and dead timber are making it difficult for firefighters to access the area. Fire managers expect the blaze to reach Paradise Road and Indian Creek Campground in the coming days. Temporary road closures including a barricade and road guard at Magruder Crossing could be put in place later this week. The wildfire was first reported on July 7.
KECI-TV NBC 13 Missoula

Manhattan Fire Department hosts breakfast fundraiser for new gear

The Manhattan Volunteer Fire Department is hosting their annual Fireman's Breakfast this Saturday at 6AM at their station. The breakfast is their biggest fundraiser of the year and all proceeds go to help them buy new and essential gear the firefighters need. "It helps us buy the latest equipment we need. It helps replace the outdated equipment that continues to wear and tear," says William Johnson, a Manhattan firefighter. Firefighters are critically important this time of year in Montana, and the Manhattan Fire Department is made up completely of volunteers. They do it on the side to keep their communities safe. "It's a great way to serve our community. It is time demanding to be able to do the training we need, to keep up with the days. So, it is all on our own time, we choose to do it.
KTMF-TV ABC/FOX 23 Missoula

Superior firefighters receive extra training to better serve community

Floating the rivers around Missoula is the epitome of summer in the Missoula while rafting on the Flathead is one of the best ways to experience the beauty of the Big Sky State. But sometimes, these trips turn tragic. Western Montana is no stranger to river rescues — just Google it. Last month, Ravalli County Search and Rescue teams faced numerous river calls. And over the years, Missoula emergency crews return again and again to the Clark Fork to help someone in distress. But the Clark Fork doesn't just stop at Missoula County lines. It weaves its way through Mineral County where authorities have had their share of river rescues — and now they're even more prepared for it. The Superior Volunteer Fire Department is back in the spotlight; this time it's for doing everything they can to prevent accidents on the water.
KPAX-TV CBS/CW+ 8 Missoula

Sentencing handed down for man charged with starting Robertson Draw Fire

The man who started the Robertson Draw Fire that burned nearly 30,000 acres was sentenced Wednesday. John Lightburn, 55, was arrested and charged with causing the fire. Lightburn reportedly said he was riding a dirt bike near the base of the mountains on a forest service line, and that he had been operating it on a trail. He said the dirt bike appeared to be flooding, and while repairing the bike, he spilled gasoline and ignited a fire when checking a spark plug. Lightburn was sentenced to 10 years at the Department of Corrections on Aug. 17, excluding the 420 days he spent in county jail.
KULR-TV NBC 8 Billings

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Firefighters extinguish fire in detached garage in Great Falls

A detached garage caught on fire in Great Falls Tuesday night. Great Falls Fire Rescue said in a press release crews were able to quickly manage the fire, located on Nineteenth Avenue Northwest; however, there was a big overhaul--crews needed to make sure the fire was totally out. GFFR said in the release the fire was labor-intensive with the amount of overhaul and heat. No one was injured. The cause of the fire was ruled accidental throwing away of smoking materials.
KULR-TV NBC 8 Billings

Garceau Fire burns 1,500 acres near Polson, 0% containment

The Garceau Fire burning 10 miles west of Polson has burned 1,500 acres, according to Inciweb. "This was a very active fire with almost 100% intense heat within the main perimeter," mappers noted. "There was non-forested habitat between the two main polygons in Section 34 which likely had more heat/burn than was visible on the IR scan due to flashy fuels." The CSKT Division of Fire confirmed Tuesday evening that the wildfire was burning in the Hot Springs area. Officials say the blaze was human-caused. The fire reportedly started near houses around 2 p.m. Tuesday. Fire behavior is listed as extreme, but it was moving east and away from buildings on Tuesday evening. The Montana DNRC says more than 80 crew members are on the scene.
KECI-TV NBC 13 Missoula

Crews continue to battle Hog Trough, Fuse Lake fires

Crews are continuing to battle the Hog Trough and Fuse Lake fires in the Bitterroot National Forest. The blazes — which were both sparked by lightning — have burned a combined 1,287 acres. The Hog Trough Fire is 71% contained while the Fuse Lake Fire is 0% contained. The fires are burning in rugged and remote terrain 18 miles southeast of Hamilton. No structures are currently threatened. Fire managers report the Hog Trough Fire remained active on Tuesday, producing smoke visible from the Bitterroot Valley. The southeast portion of the fire was most active, primarily burning dead and down fuels within the current perimeter and a previously burned area. The fire is slowly backing down the Weasel Creek drainage. Helicopters dropped water throughout the day to cool the fire and enable crews on the ground to have better access to directly attack the fire.
KTVH-DT NBC/CW+ 12 Helena

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