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

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About 30 homes near Eureka were evacuated before dawn today after the fast-growing Gibraltar Ridge Fire was discovered east of town. People quickly mobilized to provide a shelter at the Church of God.

Lora Ercanbrack is with the American Red Cross relief team in Lincoln County. She arrived to the church shelter early Tuesday morning around 6 a.m. to greet weary evacuees, some of whom had already been up for several hours. 

Missoula City-County Air Quality Specialist Sarah Coefield brings us another of her excellent daily reports:

"Good morning, We're seeing smoke impacts in communities near active fires this morning. While most of Missoula County has generally Moderate air quality this morning, thicker smoke is trapped in the Arlee, Lolo and Seeley Lake valleys.

A fast-growing fire discovered last night southeast of Eureka has prompted new evacuations in that area, and at least one injury on that fire.

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office is estimating that the Gibraltar Ridge fire is about 1,400 acres in size now. They evacuated about 30 residences in the wee hours of this morning, and an estimated 100 more homes are on evacuation standby.

For the first time this year, the Montana National Guard has been activated to fight a fire in Montana.

A Chinook helicopter and its team of 15 were deployed  to combat the Meyers fire, 25 miles south of Philipsburg in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. 

Wyoming InciWeb

The Pole Creek Fire is estimated to be about 3,169 acres and only 5 percent contained. The fire was discovered last Friday and is fueled by heavy timber and grass.

An emergency area closure is in effect to allow firefighting resources to safely perform their job and provide for public safety. The closure includes all roads and trails as well as adjacent forest service lands from the southern boundary of the Bridger-Teton National Forest to just north of the fire perimeter.

Managers of the Sunrise fire east of Superior this morning were worried about it throwing spot fires over Interstate 90 and the Clark Fork River.

According to fire team spokesperson Kimberly Nelson, “If there was spotting, the crews caught it because a report never made it back to us, which tells us that it must have been real minor spotting if there was spotting.”

Here's today's morning air quality update from Missoula City-County Health Department Air Quality Specialist Sarah Coefield:

Updated 6 p.m.

The Lolo Peak Fire, southwest of Lolo has now scorched 7,084 acres.

Aerial resources, including retardant, are being used to slow the progression of the Lolo Peak Fire into Dick Creek and the South Fork of Lolo Drainage while completing containment lines to the west and north of the fire. Slowing the progression of the fire allows us to be prepared for fire movement in the future that could threaten structures along the Highway 12 corridor.

Today's air quality is, again, expected to be less-than-ideal. Buckle up for the long haul, because the smoke is probably going to be with us for quite some time.

Missoula City-County Air Quality Specialist Sarah Coefield's air quality updates are always a good read. Here are her projections for western Montana today:

The 21,573-acre Sapphire Complex is burning roughly 25 miles south/southeast of Missoula in the Rock Creek Drainage. The Granite County Sheriff Friday night issued a YELLOW pre-evacuation warning for the Upper Willow Creek Drainage.