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Lightning sparks forest fire southwest of Philipsburg - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Lightning sparks forest fire southwest of Philipsburg

Posted: Updated:
MISSOULA -

Forest Service officials say lightning was the cause of a forest fire which was sparked approximately 20 miles southwest of Philipsburg.

Leona Rodreick with the US Forest Service says the fire, being referred to as the Whetstone Ridge fire, has burned about 25 acres since being reported at around 8:30 a.m. Friday.

The fire is burning in dense conifer, lodgepole pine and subalpine fir and is located in a remote area with difficult access.

Firefighters are on scene and are working to secure the perimeter to prevent the fire from growing. Helicopters are providing water from local lakes and ponds to assist with the firefighting efforts. 

With hot and dry weather predicted to continue through the weekend, people are advised to be cautious with fire. If recreating outdoors, make sure your campfires are completely extinguished and cool to the touch before leaving. Stay on roads and make sure cigarettes are out.

There is a temporary flight restriction 2.5 miles around this fire. Please respect the airspace and do not fly drones in this area.

A Type 1 handcrew (Lewis & Clark Hotshots), three helicopters and misc. overhead are currently battling the blaze, with a Type 1 handcrew; one helicopter and one air attack crew ordered as additional resources.

For more information about this fire and other fires across the country, go online to http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/.

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