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

The waters of Seeley Lake were reopened for recreational use earlier Friday.

Kristen Miller, a spokesperson for the Rice Ridge Fire, says the lake reopened because super scooper planes that had been pulling water from the lake were no longer being used on the fire.

Montana will be getting FEMA funding to help with the costs of the Lolo Peak Fire.

Federal Emergency Management Agency spokesman Jerry DeFelice says funding is now available to pay 75 percent of the state’s eligible firefighting cost on the Lolo Peak Fire.

The Lolo Peak Fire made another significant run Thursday night, and according to fire information officer, Mike Cole, this time it took a few buildings with it.

"Yesterday evening, we actually had some structures burn about a mile-and-a-half southwest of the town of Lolo; that was in the evening. The Missoula County Rural Fire Department and Sheriff’s Department is out there accessing that damage this morning, so they can notify the property owners. Those structures were in one of the evacuation order areas," Cole says.

This afternoon, the evacuation order area for the Lolo Peak Fire has been extended south in the Highway 93 corridor. The area currently under evacuation order is on the west side of Highway 93, and now extends South from mile marker 78 all the way to Tie Chute Lane.

There is also a new evacuation warning area from Tie Chute Lane south to Bass Creek Road.

The Granite County Sheriff’s Office issued a “red” evacuation order yesterday for the Upper Willow Creek area and a “yellow” evacuation warning for the Marshall Creek area due to the Little Hogback Fire, part of the Sapphire Complex burning south of Missoula.

The 15,000 acre Lolo Peak Fire is quickly outgrowing law enforcement’s ability to secure the estimated 600 homes now evacuated along the Highway 93 and Highway 12 corridors.

Fire officials have now turned to the Montana National Guard for help.

Western Montana’s Lolo Peak Fire burned through almost 5,000 acres during its run Wednesday night west of Lolo. Stiff winds spurred that now 15,000 acre fire on its four mile push to the east.

"Where the fire moved, to an extent was not a surprise as it relates to the overall plan. How quickly it moved to where it did, obviously, nobody was necessarily expecting that to happen as quickly as it did," says Lolo Peak Fire Information officer Bill Queen.

Update: 9:50: This from the Missoula County Sheriff's Office: "Due to the recent fire activity, evacuation passes need to be postponed until further notice.

There’s a new evacuation order in the Lolo and Traveler’s Rest area issued by the Missoula County Sheriff's Office.

This is an evacuation order, not a warning, that includes portions of the Highway 93 and Highway 12 corridors.

In the past week alone, firefighters in northwest Montana attacked more than 40 small wildfires, and there’s no end in sight for this summer’s active fire season. But, firefighters are about to get some big help.

"That is the Black Hawk coming in right there," says Wyatt Frampton.