Eric Whitney

News Director

Eric Whitney is the news director for Montana Public Radio.


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Lolo National Forest

Updated 7:00 p.m.

Officials on the Alice Creek fire announced at about 5pm that they are evacuating homes along highway 200, from mile post 92 east to Highway 435-434. The evacuations are mandatory and there is a temporary shelter being opened up at the Wolf Creek School.

West Fork firefighter serving as a lookout for Hotshot crews working below on the Nelson Creek fire.

On the Senate floor Wednesday, both of Montana's senators gave 10-minute speeches about wildfires in Montana.

"Climate change is real, and we can't continue to sit on the sidelines," Democratic Senator Jon Tester said.

Republican Senator Steve Daines focused on, "The mis-management of our federal forests, and these radical environmentalists."

Both Daines and Tester talked about Montana's fires in the context of the nation's attention being primarily on hurricanes at the moment.

Smoke from the Highway 200 Complex, September 4, 2017.

Governor Steve Bullock issued a statement on the fires to the media Monday.

"We are facing a very challenging and unprecedented fire season in Montana and throughout the West."

The sunrise through smoky skies at Lakeside this morning
Eric Whitney


The Missoula County Sheriff's Office has issued evacuation warnings for approximately ten residences between Bear Creek Road and Graves Creek Road along the Highway 12 corridor due to the Lolo Peak fire. 

The Sheep Gap Fire northwest of Plains, 2:30pm Sat. 9/2
Eric Whitney

The Fire Management Team, in conjunction with the Sanders County Sheriff’s office, has decided to implement evacuation procedures on the Sheep Gap fire. The evacuation will cover all private residences from the corner of the road on the River Road West in Section 11, T20N, R27W west to the end of River Road West. The evacuation plan was activated at noon and residents are asked to be clear of the area by 6 p.m. this evening.

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