Wildfire season is still apparent in several states, and Montana is no different. Inciweb provided the latest details on active wildland fires in the state.
The Trail Ridge Fire burning southeast of Sula, Montana, has reached 65% containment and is estimated to be over 17,000 acres. 140 personnel are responding to the fire. Most of the fire activity on Tuesday occurred on the fire’s north flank. The fire’s spread is expected to slow down through Thursday from wetting rain. Daytime humidity is also expected to last through Thursday. Area closures for Beaverhead – Deer Lodge and Bitterroot National Forest are still in place. Stage two fire restrictions at Bitterroot National Forest have been lifted.
The Eagle Creek Fire burning south of Havre in the Bear Paw Mountains reached 100% containment as of Wednesday morning. The fire was estimated to be 17,225 acres: minimal fire activity was observed. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Teams will manage fire movement on the north and northeast sides of the fire.
The Blodgett/ Mill Lake Fires started in late August and are a total of five fires. The Blodgett Lake fire is estimated to be 2,300, Mill Lake at about 900 acres, Big Creek at 156, Bear Creek at 234, and Kootenai Creek at one acre. The cause of the fire was a lightning strike. 184 personnel are responding to the fire and are working on containment lines west of the Bitterroot Valley. Several trail closures are in effect for the area. A high chance of wetting rain is expected in the area through Thursday morning and may help contain the fire before dryer conditions return.
The Bull Gin Complex fire is a total of 4,055 acres consisting of three fires. The Government Fire is at 2,624 acres, the Billiard Lake Fire is at 1,144, and the Isabella Lake fire is at 285 acres. The Isabella Lake Fire is being monitored aerially. Rain is expected in the area on Thursday, with cooler temps predicted for Thursday and Friday. While this may help with the fires, the rainfall will not be a season-ending event. Area, road, and trail closures are still in effect for the area. Officials from the Northern Rockies Team 2 and the Kootenai National Forest will host a community meeting addressing the fires on Friday, September 23, at 10 am.
On Wednesday, the National Interagency Fire Center announced that five new fires were reported on Tuesday in Montana, Oklahoma, Texas, Washington, and Kansas. Montana currently has approximately 28 large wildland fires, along with 38 fires in Idaho, 14 in Washington, and six in Oregon. Current updates on several large fires in Montana were not readily available.
Yourbigsky will provide more updates on the wildfires happening across Montana throughout the week.