Hot, Dry Weather Brings Wildfires, Burn Bans

Jul 24, 2019

Hot, dry weather has settled over Montana and brought with it wildfires, burn bans and red flag warnings.

Two new wildfires got started on Tuesday in western Montana.

The Moss Ranch Fire, southwest of Ronan, has burned some 185 acres of tall grass, timber, grass and brush on Flathead Reservation. Fifty-eight personnel from the Bureau of Indian Affairs are working the fire with ground and air equipment. It was started by lightning and is estimated to be 20 percent contained.

The Bannack Fire has burned 151 acres in Beaverhead County, southwest of Dillon. The fire is showing moderate fire behavior with running and torching in timber, grass and brush. The town of Bannack and Bannack State Park are threatened. The Bannock Fire is zero percent contained and the cause is unknown.

The National Weather Service has issued red flag warnings in effect until late Wednesday for north central, central and some of northeast Montana due to high temperatures, low humidity and strong winds of ten to 30 miles an hour with gusts up to 50 miles an hour.

Three counties in that area have authorized burning restrictions until further notice. Jefferson and Lewis and Clark County have banned debris burning, while Toole County along the Canadian border has a burn ban in effect until midnight on Friday.

County and Weather Service officials warn that any fire starts could quickly spread with these weather conditions.