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Lightning sparks several fires in the Bitterroot Valley - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Lightning sparks several fires in the Bitterroot Valley

Posted: Updated:
HAMILTON -

Firefighters are currently working on several new lightning-caused wildfires on the Bitterroot National Forest.  

Forest spokesman Tod McKay says a quick initial attack by fire crews has kept all of the blazes to .10 acres or less. Several are burning in remote locations where firefighters had to be flown in by helicopter or hike in several miles. 

All of the wildfires are located on the southern end of the forest on the West Fork and Darby/Sula Ranger Districts. McKay says there are no structures threatened and no closures at this time. 

One fire is currently out and three others are contained.  Containment is expected on all fires later Saturday or this weekend, according to McKay.

There are currently 16 firefighters (including five smokejumpers) and two helicopters assigned to the blazes. The helicopters are assisting with bucket work to help control and suppress the fires and are also moving crews and supplies to assist in initial attack efforts.         

There are also several lightning-caused wilderness fires burning to the west in Idaho on the Nez Perce–Clearwater National Forest that may contribute to widespread hazy skies and smoke impacts in the Bitterroot Valley. 

The largest fire is the 15 acre Brushy fire located west of Victor. 

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