News Department:

Missoula News:

Eric Whitney, News Director: 406-243-4075, @mtprnd

Edward O'Brien, Assistant News Director: 406-243-4065

Helena News:

Corin Cates-Carney, Capitol Reporter: 253-495-5193, @clccarney

Flathead News:

Nicky Ouellet, Flathead-area Reporter: 603-568-6155 or 406-730-2264, @nickydoesradio

Evening Newscast 08-16-19

Aug 16, 2019

Montana Public Radio evening newscast for August 16, 2019.

Firefighters on two of the biggest wildfires in Western Montana report getting some benefit from wet weather in the last 24 hours.

Montana authorities say a volunteer firefighter told two teenage girls they had to leave their home because of a wildfire, then gave them alcohol and sexually assaulted them. 

Updated 7:46 p.m., August 9

Evacuations for the Horsefly Fire will be lifted at 8pm, tonight.

A crowd of around 50 people gathered in the Canyon Creek Volunteer Fire Department Friday evening cheered when Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton delivered the news.

“Remember there’s still active fire in there. You are on notice," Dutton said. “We feel confident, you going in there, you’ll be safe.”

Updated 5:24 p.m. 

Severe thunderstorms that could impact wildfires are forecast for Friday through Sunday, for details, click here. 

Updated 3:16 p.m.

A public information meeting for the Horsefly Fire will be held on Friday, August 9, 2019, at 7:00 p.m. It will be held at the Canyon Creek Rural Fire District station located at 7560 Duffy Lane in Canyon Creek.

Updated 2:05 p.m.

The Lolo National Forest says, “fire managers are hoping for 100% containment of the Wagon Mountain Fire by the end of the day (today, Thur 8/8).”

A release says firefighters had, “another successful day on the Wagon Mountain Fire. Containment is now is at 70%. All of the control line was finished, and hose lay was placed around the fire’s perimeter. No helicopters were utilized in yesterday’s operations.

Multiple partners are working the fire including the Montana Department of Natural Resources, Bitterroot and Nez-Perce Clearwater National Forests, and crews form other districts on the Lolo National Forest. There are 65 people assigned to the fire and it is being managed by a Type 4 Incident Commander. Strategy for managing the fire will be weather dependent.

Another 25 to 30 homes could be evacuated about 15 miles east of Lincoln if the fast-growing Horsefly Fire continues moving east-southeast.

Twelve counties around Montana have now instituted burning restrictions because of dry conditions, low humidity and warm temperatures.

The body of the man who drowned in a Glacier National Park lake was recovered today. 

Updated 4:30 p.m., August 7, 2019

Winds have pushed the Horsefly Fire east-southeast and across the Continental Divide since it was first reported Monday afternoon. The fire is now nearly 1,300 acres and 0% contained.

Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton says the evacuation order for the Flesher Acres subdivision is still in effect, and that his office has drawn up plans for a second evacuation area from Flesher Acres to Stemple pass in case it’s needed.

Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton said today that people in 27 of the 77 homes in the Flesher Acres subdivision east of Lincoln have complied with the evacuation orders issued about 24 hours ago.

Boaters on Flathead Lake might see a strange sight this week: small submarines surfacing at various locations. 

Officials are marking the 70th anniversary of a tragic fire north of Helena that killed 13 firefighters and prompted the U.S. Forest Service to rethink fire training, safety and research.

Broadwater county is seeking help to pay for prosecuting a man charged with accountability to the May 2017 shooting death of a sheriff's deputy. 

Updated 6:05 p.m., August 5, 2019

The Snow Creek Fire was started by lightning on August 2. The fire is burning mid to upper slope on the south facing side of the ridge that separates the Snow and Hungry Creek drainages, approximately 1.5 miles up drainage from the South Fork of the Flathead River. Fire activity increased significantly Monday afternoon.

Evening Newscast 8-2-19

Aug 2, 2019

The cause of the North Hills fire was someone shooting at exploding targets.

The Type 2 incident management team that’s been managing the North Hills Fire was re-assigned at 6:00 p.m. to the Nevada Creek Fire, a lightning fire started mid-day yesterday on the Powel-Lewis and Clark county line about 20 miles north of Elliston.

A new very active fire, the Black Diamond Fire, is burning southeast of the Highway 200 - Highway 279 junction in the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest.