HAMILTON — Extreme fire conditions are continuing on the Bitterroot National Forest where firefighters have responded to and extinguished three new lightning-caused wildfires from thunderstorms on Thursday.
All of the fires were located on the West Fork Ranger District west of Alta Campground in the Blue Joint area. Forest officials say that thanks to the quick response all of the fires were kept small at about 1/10th of an acre.
A fourth fire – also 1/10th of an acre is in the Southfork of Lost Horse Creek is burning in a stump on a cliff face. Due to very steep and inaccessible terrain, the fire is not staffed at this time.
There were 189 confirmed lightning strikes across the Bitterroot National Forest in the last 24-hours and many that touched the ground, according to a news release.
The southern end of the Bitterroot was hit especially hard and crews will be on the lookout for more fires Friday and this weekend. Oftentimes, new fires are not visible until the next day or later, occasionally even weeks after a lightning strike.
To date, there have been 58 wildfires on the Bitterroot National Forest; 17 human-caused, and 41 lightning fires.
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