HAMILTON - Several wildfires are burning as of Tuesday afternoon in the Bitterroot National Forest.
- The 1.5-acre North Lost Horse Fire which was sparked by lightning and is burning on the north side in the upper Lost Horse drainage. The initial attack included a type two helicopter for water drops. No additional growth is being reported and due to difficult terrain and no landing spots, the fire is not currently staffed. The fire will be monitored by air patrol and Deer Mountain Fire Lookout for any additional activity.
- The lightning-sparked Kootenai Creek Fire is burning 1/10 of an acre 1.5 miles east of Bass Peak. The fire is isolated within a large rocky, steep area with sparse and non-continuous fuels making access for firefighters difficult and dangerous. Fire managers will use aerial resources for bucket drops if needed. The fire location is visible from the St. Mary’s Lookout.
- The Hog Trough Fire is burning 1,701 acres with area trail and road closures in effect.
- The Indian Ridge Fire which was started by lightning on July 7 has now burned 5,474 acres. It is located in the Indian Creek drainage in Idaho’s Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. It is burning five miles from the Idaho/Montana border and is approximately 30 miles southwest of Darby.
- Green Ridge, Chuckling, Flat Creek, Surprise Creek, Slow Creek fires are all 1/10 acre and were all lightning-caused. The fires are located in the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness or Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. Due to the combination of no immediate values at risk near the fires and very steep, rugged terrain making access for firefighters difficult these fires will not be staffed.
Thunderstorms with frequent lightning were reported across the forest on Monday and Monday night, according to a social media post. Fire crews, along with a fixed-wing air patrol, will be on the lookout for more fires over the next several days.
The Bitterroot National Forest has implemented Stage II fire restrictions due to hot temperatures and dry fuel conditions. Visit https://www.mtfireinfo.org/ for more information about local fire restrictions.
There have been 38 wildfires on the Bitterroot National Forest so far this wildifre season. Nine were human-caused and 29 were started by lightning.