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Evening Newscast 08-23-17

4 hours ago
Montana Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

A couple of days of calm weather has blanketed much of Western Montana in thick smoke, but a cold front is moving in.

The Montana Supreme Court has upheld a verdict and fine against a former state legislator who took illegal corporate contributions.

A judge has ruled a small population of grizzly bears in Montana and Idaho near the Canadian border can be considered endangered.

A company behind a private Montana resort community in Big Sky has paid the state more than $90,000 in penalties.

Evening Newscast 08-22-17

Aug 22, 2017
Montana Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

After saying yesterday that burnout operations on the Lolo Peak Fire were likely responsible for destroying two homes and several outbuildings, fire managers are now saying they need more information to be sure.

A timber sale that aims to reduce fire danger has been approved by the Bitterroot National Forest near last year’s Roaring Lion fire site.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says they are reopening the public comment period on the future of the National Bison Range.

Evening Newscast 08-21-17

Aug 21, 2017
Montana Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

A judge has ordered Congressman Greg Gianforte to be photographed and fingerprinted for assaulting a reporter in May, opening the door for the Republican representative's mug shot to be plastered in opponents' campaign ads in next year's election.

Fire managers say a burnout set by firefighters is most likely what led to the loss of two homes and eight outbuildings in the Lolo Peak Fire.

The Secretary of the Veterans Administration visited Montana today, and made an announcement that many veterans will welcome.

Last week’s dry cold front stirred up many of western Montana’s fires, including the Sapphire Complex east of Missoula.

Evening Newscast 08-18-17

Aug 18, 2017
Montana Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

Two homes southwest of the town of Lolo were destroyed last night by the fast-growing Lolo Peak Fire.

Montana will be getting FEMA funding to help with the costs of the Lolo Peak Fire.

Montana's capital city today removed a memorial to Confederate soldiers that has been in a public park since 1916.

Montana's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady at 3.9 percent in July.

Evening Newscast 08-17-17

Aug 17, 2017
Montana Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

The 15,000 acre Lolo Peak Fire is quickly outgrowing law enforcement’s ability to secure the estimated 600 homes now evacuated along the Highway 93 and Highway 12 corridors. Missoula County Commissioners are now considering turning to the Montana National Guard for help.

The evacuation area for the Lolo Peak Fire was extended further south down the Highway 93 corridor this afternoon. It now stretches from mile marker 78 south of Lolo all the way to the north end of Florence.That area under the mandatory evacuation area is on the West side of Highway 93 only.
Florence itself is in a new evacuation Warning area, stretching from Tie Chute Lane south to Bass Creek Road.

The Lolo Peak Fire southwest of Missoula burned through almost 5-thousand acres during its run last night. Stiff winds spurred that now 15-thousand-acre fire on its four-mile push to the east.

The Missoula County Fairgrounds is accepting RVs and animals displaced by local fires. People need to check in and sign intake forms with the fair office upon arrival.

Evening Newscast 08-16-17

Aug 16, 2017
Montana Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

All three members of Montana’s congressional delegation have now commented on the events in Charlottesville.

State climatologist Kelsey Jencso says what folks are seeing this summer -- extreme fires, sudden droughts, snowpacks melting quickly -- may be a vision of Montana’s future.

Helena’s City Commission has been debating and taking public input on the future of a Confederate memorial.

Crews managing the Blue Bay Fire on the east shore of Flathead Lake began a controlled burn.

Evening Newscast 08-15-17

Aug 15, 2017
Montana Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

The size of the mandatory evacuation area along US Highway 12 west of Lolo has been reduced.

Montana Insurance Commissioner Matt Rosendale says many homeowners insurance policies can help out with evacuation expenses.

A controversial copper mine near White Sulphur Springs is one step closer to becoming a reality. 

Evening Newscast 08-14-17

Aug 14, 2017
Montana Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

Parts of Western Montana were breathing a little easier this morning after weekend thunderstorms brought with them cooler temperatures and increased humidity.

U-S Highway 12 west of Lolo has been re-opened on a limited basis after being closed yesterday due to the Lolo Peak Fire.

About 30 coal cars in a Montana Rail Link freight train derailed this weekend along the Clark Fork River in northwestern Montana.

Evening Newscast 08-11-17

Aug 11, 2017
Montana Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

A lightning storm that blew through northwest Montana last night has firefighters scrambling from Eureka to Glacier National park.

Southeast of Superior along I-90, managers of the Sunrise Fire are preparing for this weekend’s forecast red flag fire weather.

The Missoula County Sheriff’s Office has expanded the evacuation warning area associated with Lolo Peak Fire.

Evening Newscast 08-10-17

Aug 10, 2017
Montana Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

The smoke pouring into a small Montana town from a nearby wildfire has gotten so bad that health officials are warning residents to leave the area.

Firefighters working on the forty-two hundred acre Liberty Fire southeast of Arlee are employing a long-term confinement strategy.

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke will decide whether to shrink or eliminate 22 national monuments later this month.

An elite 29-year-old firefighter who died in Montana last week was remembered Thursday.

Evening Newscast 08-09-17

Aug 9, 2017
Montana Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

A 76-person incident management team is now in charge of the Gibralter Ridge Fire east of Eureka.

The same lightning storm that started Gibralter Ridge sparked at least seven small fires inside Glacier National Park.

There are new evacuations for the Sunrise Fire.

The Missoula City-County Health Department is now recommending that people in Seeley Lake who are able to do so leave the area until the wildfire smoke event passes.

Evening Newscast 08-08-17

Aug 8, 2017
Montana Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

A fast-growing fire discovered last night southeast of Eureka has prompted new evacuations in that area.

Smoke columns from several fire starts caused by that storm were seen Tuesday in Glacier National Park.

There is a community meeting tonight in Clinton about the Sapphire Complex of fires.

At least one firefighter has been injured from the Gibraltar Ridge Fire near Eureka.

Evening Newscast 08-07-17

Aug 7, 2017
Montana Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

Billings attorney today announced a bid to unseat newly elected Congressman Greg Gianforte in next year's midterm race.

The body of a 29-year-old California firefighter who died on the Lolo Peak Fire last week is now back home in California.

The Interior Department has scrapped a rule aimed at ensuring that coal companies don't shortchange taxpayers on huge volumes of coal extracted from public lands.

Evening Newscast 08-04-17

Aug 4, 2017
Montana Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

Fire activity on the more than 7,200 acre Rice Ridge Fire northwest of Seeley Lake increased today as it burns into heavy stands of beetle killed trees.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality has issued an air quality alert for Granite, Lake, Mineral, Missoula, Powell, and Ravalli counties due to the numerous fires burning in west-central Montana.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says he is not recommending changes to Arizona's Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument.

Stage 1 Fire Restrictions are going into effect Saturday for areas of southwestern Montana. 

Evening Newscast 08-03-17

Aug 3, 2017
Montana Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

Missoula County Sheriff and Coroner T.J. McDermott released the name of the firefighter who was killed while working on the Lolo Peak Fire yesterday afternoon.

The Mineral County Sheriff's Office lifted the Evacuation Order for Sunrise Creek and Quartz Flats early this morning.

Evening Newscast 08-02-17

Aug 2, 2017
Montana Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

Early this afternoon a firefighter on the Lolo Peak Fire was struck by a tree and died.

The Granite County Sheriff’s Office this afternoon rolled back a portion of an evacuation order in the Rock Creek drainage associated with the Sapphire Complex about 25 miles south/southeast of Missoula.

Helena’s city attorney is deferring prosecution of a sheriff charged with assaulting his girlfriend during a law enforcement convention.

The Mineral County Sheriff’s Office released a statement on their Facebook page today warning residents of some false evacuation orders.

Evening Newscast 08-01-17

Aug 1, 2017
Montana Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

There are multiple evacuation warnings due to fires in northwest Montana, and at least one mandatory evacuation order.

Evening Newscast 07-31-17

Jul 31, 2017
Montana Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

Montana state Auditor Matt Rosendale announced a bid for the U.S. Senate on Monday, bringing a high profile challenge to Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester.

A Bozeman police officer killed his wife and himself at their home on Saturday night. Gallatin County officials today identified the dead as 31-year-old Danielle Heninger and 40-year-old Zach Heninger.

The Columbia Falls City Council and the Environmental Protection Agency will host a workshop Monday evening about grants available to the community as part of the federal superfund program for the Columbia Falls Aluminum Company Site.

For the second time in a decade, the U.S. government has removed grizzly bears in the Yellowstone region from the threatened species list.

Evening Newscast 07-28-17

Jul 28, 2017
Montana Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

The Mineral County Sheriff issued a third evacuation order for the area around the Sunrise fire late this morning.

Yellowstone National Park is taking action against up to a dozen employees after an investigation found some female workers were subjected to sexual harassment and other problems.

A small airplane on a training flight Friday afternoon landed safely on Interstate 15 north of Helena after experiencing a mechanical problem.

Evening Newscast 07-27-17

Jul 27, 2017
Montana Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

As firefighters continue to battle the Sunrise Fire on Lolo National Forest, officials have been forced to evacuate about 30 homes near Superior.

The U.S. government has reversed its earlier decision to deny a request for aid to help pay for fighting Montana’s largest wildfire.

Frenchtown Rural Fire District and the Arlee Volunteer fire department were on the scene of a fire at Kelly’s Auto Salvage & Wrecker in Arlee.

Hundreds of people packed an auditorium in Helena Thursday to protest planned cuts to Medicaid.

Evening Newscast 07-26-17

Jul 26, 2017
Montana Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

The Mineral County Sheriff’s Office has issued an immediate evacuation order for residents of Sunrise and Quartz Flats due to the 27-hundred-acre Sunrise Fire. Residents in Quartz Creek remain under a stage two evacuation warning.

Evening Newscast 07-25-17

Jul 25, 2017
Montana Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

Montana revenues have fallen far enough below projections to trigger a worst-case scenario of $97 million in spending cuts across state government starting as soon as next month.

The Lolo Peak Fire in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness is now estimated at 1,090 acres and zero percent containment.

Plans to build Montana's largest solar farm are in jeopardy after state regulators set contract terms the developer says is unworkable.

The Garfield County Sheriff is lifting the evacuations for property owners in the Lodgepole Complex Fire area as U.S. government officials reject Montana's request for aid in battling the wildfires.

Evening Newscast 07-24-17

Jul 24, 2017
Montana Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

Thirty-four states have sent firefighters and other resources to Montana to help deal with the massive Lodgepole complex of fires that has already destroyed 12 homes in Garfield County.

An automatic state budget cut could pull tens of millions of dollars out of the state firefighting fund as early as tomorrow.

The Forest Service has called two public meetings to address concerns about the Lolo Peak Fire.

A University of Montana student was released today following a weeklong detention in Zhengzhou, a city in central China, after allegedly injuring a taxi driver.

Evening Newscast 07-21-17

Jul 21, 2017
Montana Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

There are now more large wildfires burning in Montana than any other state. At least 18 large fires are consuming both forests and grasslands in eastern and western Montana.

The Lolo Peak fire west of Florence is still relatively small at an estimated 249 acres, but tonight, management of it is being transferred to the highest level incident management team.

Montana's 60-million-dollar reserve fund to fight fires could be halved during what officials say could be an expensive fire season.

Montana's unemployment rate remained at 3.9 percent in June. 

Evening Newscast 07-20-2017

Jul 20, 2017
Montana Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

A 19-year-old Missoula resident was killed while fighting a fire near Seeley Lake yesterday.

Montana’s K-through-12 schools could face millions of dollars in cuts next month if state revenues don’t improve.

As wildfires continue to burn across Montana, there are two public meetings tonight to give information on fires near Lolo and Lincoln.

Gallatin County Attorney Marty Lambert today asked a judge to reject Congressman Greg Gianforte’s request that he be exempted from the usual booking process for criminal defendants.

Evening Newscast 07-19-17

Jul 19, 2017
Montana Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

Governor Steve Bullock formally signed a slate of bills Wednesday, aiming to address the state’s problem of overcrowded prisons.

Congressional Republicans are moving forward with legislation to roll back the Endangered Species Act, amid complaints that the landmark 44-year-old law hinders drilling, logging and other activities.

A lightning strike Tuesday near Lincoln grew into a nearly 200-acre blaze today.

Near Dillon, fire crews are preparing to use explosives to fight the Whetstone Ridge Fire.

Evening Newscast 07-18-17

Jul 18, 2017
Montana Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

As Governor Steve Bullock beings his final term, the Democrat is starting to raise money with ambitions of stepping onto the national political stage.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry says the Trump administration is pushing for increased exports of natural gas and other energy sources as its seeks U.S. "energy dominance" in the global market.

Most of the wildfires burning in Montana saw little growth yesterday, with the exception of the Park Creek fire burning about 5 miles north of Lincoln.

A state judge says a Billings attorney violated the rules of professional conduct by trying to obstruct access to evidence in a campaign finance investigation.

Evening Newscast 07-17-17

Jul 17, 2017
Montana Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

A fire broke out on the north side of Great Falls this afternoon, but after burning down several unoccupied structures, it’s now under control.

The Lewis and Country Sheriff’s office will announce this evening if it is safe for people near the Lookout Fire to return home, or if a mandatory evacuation must be put in place.

A fire on the flank of Lolo Peak is throwing up a smoke plume visible from many locations.

A federal report says gray wolves killed a record number of livestock in Wyoming last year, and wildlife managers responded by killing a record number of wolves that were responsible.

Evening Newscast 07-14-17

Jul 14, 2017
Montana Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

New fires are cropping up and emergency officials are preparing for potentially dangerous fire weather over the weekend.

The chair of Montana’s utility regulators violated state ethics during the 2016 election, according to a decision released Friday by Montana’s Commissioner of Political Practices.

Montana may have to run its one-of-a-kind Medicaid expansion program for a third of the cost if lower-than-expected state income triggers budget cuts next month.

Montana Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

Senator Jon Tester is ripping the new Senate health care bill; Senator Steve Daines says he needs more time to study it.

In western Montana, nearly 200 firefighters are battling the Lazier Creek 3 Fire, located south of Highway 2 and west of the Thompson River Road.

It’s hot outside, and as many as 3,000 people could be without water in a week due to a severe shortage on the Rocky Boy’s Reservation.