Beeskove Fire

Updated 5:19 p.m., August 1, 2019

Lightning near the south end of the Bitterroot National Forest Wednesday night has sparked a one-tenth acre fire west of Hamilton in the Canyon Creek drainage next to Blodgett Canyon.

Forest Service spokesperson Tod McKay says a few firefighters have been working on the blaze near Barley Creek this afternoon; helicopters have also made water bucket drops.

Another north-central Montana county has instituted burn restrictions because of weather conditions that could lead to rapidly spreading fires from errant sparks or unattended fires.

Thursday, Cascade County issued an open-burning ban in effect until further notice. Toole County also has a countywide burn ban, while Jefferson and Lewis and Clark counties have banned debris burning.

Updated 5:45 p.m., July 25.

The two-day-old Beeskove Fire in the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area north of Missoula grew from less than an acre to roughly 35 acres overnight.

Several trails were closed today, including the main Rattlesnake Creek Trail, East Fork Rattlesnake Trail, Mineral Peak Trail, Rattlesnake Horse Trailhead and portions of the Sheep Mountain Trail.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the size of the fire. The fire was actually 0.5 acres when discovered, not 5 acres.

A lightning-caused fire was reported in the Rattlesnake Recreation Area north of Missoula. The Lolo National Forest posted on its Facebook page that the fire was called into the Missoula Interagency Dispatch Center at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The fire is located approximately 4.5 miles up the main Rattlesnake travel corridor (Trail 515), on the south side of Rattlesnake Creek.