MtPublicRadio

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.

Seventy years ago today, an 18-man smokejumper crew jumped out of a plane into the Gates of the Mountains Wilderness northeast of Helena. Within hours of the jump the crew was overrun by the fire they were sent to stop, and most of the men died.

MTPR's Corin Cates-Carney looks back at the Mann Gulch tragedy, which lead the U.S. Forest Service — for the first time — to approach wildfire as a science.

The Food Guys, Greg and Jon, praise Montana's annual huckleberry bonanza. Greg prefers the intensity he finds in small, early purple huckleberries for sale at Montana farmers markets from early to mid-July. As long as it's a huckleberry, Jon's not particular. "The difference between a blueberry and a huckleberry is the difference between Cheez Wizz and cheese."

Updated 2:38 p.m., August 3, 2019

Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton says he is lifting the mandatory evacuation order for the Stickney Creek and Eagle Canyon area at 8 p.m. Roadblocks in the area are currently being removed.

The evacuation order was issued Friday night for the Eagle Canyon Fire, which is burning about 60 acres, four miles northeast of Craig. 

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.

Updated 8:14 p.m., August 2, 2019

Mandatory evacuation notices are in place in the Eagle Canyon and Stickney Creek areas north of Craig because of the Eagle Canyon Fire, which is burning between 20 and 25 acres. 

The Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office is giving evacuation notices to the following roads: Eagle Canyon Road, July Road, Lil’ Valley Road, Werner Drive, North Fork of Beaver Slide Road, Spring Drive, Cold Water Drive.

Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks is looking to understand how widespread chronic wasting disease in Montana by stepping up sampling efforts with white-tailed deer this hunting season.

The initial detection of chronic wasting disease, or CWD, west of the Continental Divide happened near Libby in late May. Since then, five deer have tested positive for the disease. So far the disease has only been confirmed in wild deer in Montana.

Evening Newscast 8-1-19

Aug 1, 2019

Last night's lightning storms have firefighters around Helena, Missoula and Hamilton chasing reports of smoke and new fires in area forests.

Eight new fire starts were reported north of Helena today, while evacuation orders were lifted for the North Hills fire, the largest fire burning in the area.

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

Montana is one of 18 states that fall short in cancer prevention, says a new report from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN).

Nearly 6,000 Montanans will be diagnosed with cancer and more than 2,000 will die from the disease this year, according to ACS CAN. About half of U.S. cancer deaths could be prevented with knowledge we already have.

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