Wildfire News

Information on Wyoming wildfires composed by Yellowstone Public Radio.

Active Wyoming wildfires: InciWeb Wyoming
-Wyoming wildfires restrictions

Information on Montana wildfires composed by Montana Public Radio
Active Montana Wildfires: InciWeb Montana 
-Montana wildfire restrictions

-Active Wildfires Across Our Region: National Wildfire Map
-Air Quality Update for Montana: Department of Environmental Quality

 Update 7:45 p.m.

One of Glacier National Park’s historic backcountry lodges was lost to the Sprague Fire Thursday evening. The main building at the Sperry Chalet burned despite firefighters’ best efforts.

Courtesy of Sheriff Fulton and Undersheriff Price / Rosebud County Sheriff's Office

Four new fires are reported to have sparked this morning in Southeastern Montana’s Rosebud County.

The Sartin Fire first reported this morning is burning mostly in Custer and Powder River Counties and is approximately 40,000 acres with no containment at this time.

Wildfire smoke has inundated communities across western Montana this summer and officials are worried about its impacts on human health, physical and otherwise.

Missoula City-County Air Quality Specialist Sarah Coefield understands the negative health impacts of air pollution better than most, but even she was startled by its impacts earlier this week.

Early yesterday afternoon John Thompson, the incident commander on the Rice Ridge Fire outside Seeley Lake was getting ready for some big challenges.

“There is thunderstorm activity to the north of us, and thunder activity to the west of us," he said. "And one of the challenges of thunderstorms over a fire is the unpredictability of the winds that occur. It’s really hard to set up an operation when the wind is spinning 360 degrees over the span of ten to fifteen minutes.”

The National Weather Service issued a Red Flag warning for dangerous fire weather conditions at 1:00 this afternoon across much of Montana until nine tomorrow evening. It stretches from as far west as Kalispell, and far east as Miles City.

Missoula Forecast Office Meteorologist Jeff Kitsmiller says although there are some expected thunderstorms, there isn’t a lot of moisture in the area.

At last night’s public meeting on the Rice Ridge Fire in Ovando, John Thompson, the incident commander leading the charge against it, said Wednesday will be a big day.

"I'm gonna tell you straight up that tomorrow [Wed, 8/30] is probably going to be one of the most challenging days we have of this fire season," Thompson said.

Montana Wildfire Roundup For August 29, 2017

Aug 30, 2017

Several new evacuation orders and warnings have been issued today across western Montana due to wildfires. Here's the latest, we'll upate this post as more information becomes available.

Last night, the Rice Ridge Fire grew 3,000 acres and forced evacuation orders for 1,100 homes in and around Seeley Lake. We sent reporter Nicky Ouellet to Seeley Lake to see the situation on the ground.

Eric Whitney: Nicky Ouellet, you spent the afternoon in Seeley Lake, where are you right now and what are you seeing?

An abrupt change in wind direction on the almost 31,000 acre Rice Ridge Fire near Seeley Lake Monday  triggered a new round of evacuations, forcing hundreds from their homes.

A handful of evacuees wound up at the Red Cross Shelter at Missoula’s University Congregational Church.

Yesterday evening two new evacuation orders were issued for most of the east and south side of the town of Seeley Lake, affecting more than 500 homes.

Sara Rouse, an information officer for the Rice Ridge Fire says last night, the fire did not burn any homes.