2013 Fire Season

Sally Mauk

Montana’s State Forester Monday said the state’s wildfire suppression fund still has the vast majority of the funding provided to it by the 2013 Legislature.

"I think we're doing relatively well, certainly compared to last year," State Forester Bob Harrington said.

So far in 2013, the state is sitting at a little less than $2 million dollars in estimated fire costs, out of a wildfire suppression fund of about $20 million. 810 fires have been reported so far, burning 43,000 acres.

Youpa Stein

Fire Information – Firestone Flats

Cause: Under Investigation

Detected: July 27, 2013

Location: Approximately 5 miles east northeast of Arlee, MT.

Size: 1,388 acres on Saturday, July 27 at 7:00 PM

Jurisdiction: Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes, Lake County Current Status: Today, Sunday, July 28th, the fire is listed at 0 percent containment. Fire activity was erratic and extreme yesterday resulting in multiple evacuations.

Sally Mauk

Firefighters are feeling a lot better today about the 720-acre Mill Creek fire that broke out yesterday between Frenchtown and Missoula.

Sally Mauk

A new  wildfire burning just east of Frenchtown and west of Missoula has grown to over 550 acres and prompted several evacuations. The fire - started by a mower sparking on a rock this afternoon - has forced homeowners between Mill Creek and Fred Lane to evacuate as firefighters attack the blaze from the ground and the air. (see map) So far, there are no reports of homes lost to the fire.

C. G. P. Grey/Flickr

State wildfire experts are saying heavy spring rain in Eastern Montana is lowering the risk for an extreme fire season across much of the state.

Leaders of state and federal agencies dealing with wildfire suppression briefed Governor Steve Bullock this week.

But Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce tells us those officials are still expecting much more severe conditions in Southwest Montana