Montana Wildfire Update For July 16, 2021
The Beaverhead County Sheriff’s office says there was an emergency evacuation for an additional 38 homes yesterday evening along the Pioneer Byway due to the Alder Creek Fire. The evacuations will remain in place through the weekend. The fire is now burning more than 3,400 acres in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest about 7 miles west of the Wise River. It is 0 percent contained.
The Northern Rockies Coordination Center reports 16 new fire starts in Montana on Thursday, prompting moderate initial attacks by federal, state and local firefighting resources. Fire crews controlled or contained four of those starts on Thursday, while the rest are still burning. Seventy-five percent of the fires are an acre or less in size.
The largest of the new fires is the 600 acre Anderson Hill Fire. The Missoula Dispatch Center’s WildCAD post says the fire is burning in timber and downed trees in southwestern Montana’s Granite County near Garnet Road.
The National Interagency Situation Reporting Program identifies 75 percent of the current fires in the state as human caused, while 25 percent are lightning caused.
The Northern Rockies is currently at fire preparedness level 5, the highest level, because of the high fire activity in the region and the significant commitment of firefighting resources. The National fire preparedness level is also now level 5.
The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning and watch for most of eastern Montana starting at noon Saturday.
The weather service warns of dangerously hot conditions with temperatures ranging from 100 degrees on Saturday to 107 by Monday for many areas. Overnight lows may not drop below 70 degrees, providing only limited relief.
The weather service says these conditions will continue at least to Thursday of next week. They remind everyone to drink plenty of fluids, stay out of the sun and check up on relatives and neighbors. They say heat related illnesses increase significantly during extreme heat events like those predicted this weekend and next week.
Explore what wildfire means for the West, our planet and our way of life, with Fireline, a six-part series from Montana Public Radio and the University Of Montana College of Business.
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