THOMPSON FALLS – Crews are continuing to battle several wildfires that are burning in Sanders County.
The newest blaze is the Winniemuck Fire which was spotted on Tuesday northwest of Thompson Falls.
According to a post on the Sanders County Wildland Fire Information Facebook page, helicopters have been performing water bucket drops from Winniemuck Lake and taking crews to the fire. The blaze is burning about one acre and a crew of 14 firefighters will work to mop up the blaze.
Crews are still on the scene of the Government Mountain fire which is burning on the Cabinet Ranger District. A fire engine from South Carolina with a 6-person crew has arrived in Trout Creek to bolster initial attack forces there.
The Garden Creek fire burning on CSKT protected land east of Coney Peak in the Hot Springs area is now up to eight acres. In addition to water drops from helicopters, explosives are being used to establish control lines.
The fire danger rating remains at "very high" in Sanders County and Stage I Fire Restrictions — which limit campfires to designated campgrounds only and prohibits smoking except in cleared areas or enclosed vehicles — remain in effect on the Cabinet Ranger District.
Smoke from fires burning in California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho continues to drift into western Montana and could persist for the next several days.