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

Goat Creek Fire / Inciweb

The state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation says the spending has included almost all of the $32 million set aside in the state’s fire response fund. That fund had been twice as large, but state lawmakers siphoned about half the money away to cover revenue shortfalls in the state budget.

12:40 p.m. update from Missoula City-County Air Quality Specialist Sarah Coefield:

Good afternoon, Welp. It got bad out there, folks.

Montana's firefighting fund could run dry by the end of the week, the state's budget director acknowledged Wednesday, forcing officials to draw money from emergency reserves to keep crews and equipment on the front lines of the worst collection of wildfires in the U.S.

Montana Insurance Commissioner Matt Rosendale says many homeowners insurance policies can help out with evacuation expenses.

“If you’re subject to a mandatory civil evacuation order many insurance policies will provide extra living expense coverage for up to two weeks,” he says.

The size of the mandatory evacuation area along U.S. Highway 12 west of Lolo has been reduced.

At about 2:00 p.m. Missoula County’s Sheriff allowed residents along a 1.7  mile stretch of Highway 12 back into their homes. That stretch is on the east side of the evacuation area, it’s from mile marker 20 to 21.7.

The original evacuation order applied to about 165 residences. Today’s modification reduces that to about 150.

Missoula City-County Air Quality Specialist Sarah Coefield's latest air quality report:

"Good news, everyone! The air is as good as it looks and smells! We're looking at generally Good to Moderate air quality everywhere but Seeley Lake. Not only can you see the mountains, you can see the trees on the mountains. 

Parts of Western Montana were breathing a little easier this morning after weekend thunderstorms brought with them cooler temperatures and increased humidity.

But the storms also prompted the evacuation of about 160 homes on either side of Highway 12 west of Lolo mid-day Sunday.

Updated 6:30 p.m.

Encouraging news from Lolo Peak Fire spokesman Mark Struble: Now that the cold front has passed through western Montana, the winds have significantly abated, a little bit of rain fell and relative humidity spiked up to about 50-percent for a while.

8/12   9 p.m.

Trout Creek Road from Magone Ranch (near Pellet Mill) southwest through the fire area is in Stage 3 evacuation, meaning residents need to leave their homes, as of 7 a.m. Saturday. Quartz Creek, Cougar Gulch, and Verde Creek are also in Stage 3 evacuation. 

About 250 people filled most of the bleachers at Seeley Lake elementary school Thursday night to get the latest update on the Rice Ridge fire.

Somewhat unusual for a fire meeting was for the crowd to hear from someone from the county health department about air quality concerns, but Sarah Coefield, an air quality specialist with Missoula City-County Health, said smoke pollution levels have repeatedly hit hazardous levels.