Posted: Aug 9, 2012 7:05 AM by Dennis Bragg - KPAX News
MISSOULA- Fire crews stayed busy overnight mopping up a series of small fires started by Wednesday evening's lightning storms, with more work expected on Thursday.
A series of thunderstorm cells came pouring off the Bitterroot Divide during the late afternoon as temperatures spiked to 100-degrees, setting off periods of lightning and high winds throughout the Bitterroot, Missoula and Upper Clark Fork valleys.
Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation and local fire crews had multiple reports of fires, all hitting within a couple of hours from lighting strikes.
The Florence Rural Fire Department and DNRC sent crews to a small fire near the proposed Bitterroot Resort, controlling the blaze at just under an acre in size.
Meanwhile, four DNRC engines responded to a blaze called the Linton Fire up the 10-mile Road north of Beavertail Hill east of Missoula. There was no immediate estimate on the size of that fire.
Firefighters were also sent to the scene of multiple small fires up the Lolo Creek drainage, in the Woodman Creek/Woodman Saddle area. DNRC and Lolo National Forest were working together to control those fires overnight.