NewsWildfire Watch


Lightning sparks wildfire on southwest MT mountain

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Posted at 10:36 AM, Jul 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-06 12:38:18-04

BOZEMAN — The U.S. Forest Service is battling a lightning-sparked fire up on Wheeler Mountain in Southwest Montana.

The strike happened at around 7 pm on Sunday, and Gallatin Gateway Rural Fire Department was present when it was spotted.

Despite rain falling in the Valley, Wheeler Mountain was “bone dry," acccording to Jeremiah Hillier, the Fire Chief for Gallatin Gateway Rural Fire District.

“This time of year they (lighting strike fire) are not extremely common, we get them, but turning into an actual fire is very rare," he explained.

Having lightning strikes and fires are not rare, but the dry storm is what causes a lighting strike fire to gain momentum.

“Usually this time of year we’re getting really heavy rain with our lighting storms,” said Hillier.

According to a news release from the Custer Gallatin National Forest, the fire has burned about 0.8 acres as of Monday afternoon and is spreading through brush, vegetation and steep terrain.

There have not been any injuries, and no structures are currently threatened.