Montana Forest Fires
According to https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/state/27/, the state of Montana currently has 38 wild fires blazing across hundreds of thousands of acres. High temperatures coupled with extremely low rainfall has created extremely favorable conditions for forest fires to start. Some notable fires are outlined below for you to better understand these tragic events happening in Montana right this second.
Rice Ridge Fire
The Rice Ridge Fire started back on July 24th from a lightning strike and has been burning ever since. Burning just northeast of Seeley Lake, a small lake community near the shore of Seeley Lake, has put the town in danger. On Monday, August 28th, the fire unexpectedly grew closer to the community of Seeley Lake and a mandatory evacuation was issued due to the fires close proximity (1.5 miles). The fire is currently 18% contained and has burned 32,222 Acres with 592 personnel currently fighting this fire.
Lolo Peak Fire
Another predominant fire that is burning in Montana is the Lolo Peak Fire, located in the Lolo National Forest 10 miles southwest of the town of Lolo. This fire started on July 15th from a lightning strike. To date, the fire has burned 38,878 Acres and continues to rage on. With containment at 31%, the Lolo Peak Fire is still nowhere close to being extinguished. Currently, 864 personnel are on staff working to put this fire out.
Sapphire Complex Fire
The Sapphire Complex Fire is comprised of several smaller fires including the Little Hogback, Goat Creek, and Sliderock Fires. The complex stretches through portions of the Lolo National Forest and the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. Located 25 miles east of Missoula, the Sapphire Complex Fires have burned 39825 Acres and is at 49% containment. The fire has been burning since July 13th and was caused by lightning. 421 firefighters are on staff working to contain this fearsome complex of fires.
Lodgepole Complex Fire
The Lodgepole Complex Fire started on July 19th however the cause is still unknown. As of July 31st, the fire was 93% contained and firefighting crews were focusing on mop-up and fireline rehabilitation. The fire, located 52 miles West Northwest of Jordan, Montana has burned 270,723 acres and is one of the state’s largest fires this summer.
Governor Steve Bullock has declared a state of emergency due to the fires burning in Montana. This has been one of the worst fire seasons I’ve seen in quite some years. Do whatever you can to help prevent forest fires. Remember that things like dragging chains, cigarettes, driving in tall/dry grass, and campfires can all start forest fires. If you witness the start of a forest fire that is not currently being contained, contact 911 as soon as possible to prevent further spread of the fire.
If you are directly impacted by the fires burning in Montana make sure to contact the Fire and Drought Assistance Hotline at 1-844-515-1571.
An interactive map can be found here:
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