Edward O'Brien


Edward O'Brien is Montana Public Radio's Associate News Director.

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Fire activity is picking up above the Florence area in the Bitterroot Valley at this hour. 


About noon Saturday, a firefighter was hit by a rock and took a fall near the ski area at McClain Creek. 

U.S. Forest Service

As the Lolo Peak Fire made its major run along Highway 12 Friday night, somebody decided to launch a drone to capture some dramatic video or pictures. This irresponsible behavior forced fire managers to shut down critical air operations over the fire area.

Lolo Peak Fire, August 10, 2017.

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

Federal Emergency Management Agency spokesman Jerry DeFelice says funding is now available to pay 75 percent of the state’s eligible firefighting cost on the Lolo Peak Fire.

Florence Volunteer Fire Department truck.
Andy Lyon/Inciweb

The Lolo Peak Fire made another significant run Thursday night, and according to fire information officer, Mike Cole, this time it took a few buildings with it.

"Yesterday evening, we actually had some structures burn about a mile-and-a-half southwest of the town of Lolo; that was in the evening. The Missoula County Rural Fire Department and Sheriff’s Department is out there accessing that damage this morning, so they can notify the property owners. Those structures were in one of the evacuation order areas," Cole says.