Dry thunderstorms sparked several small wildfires near Lincoln on Friday evening.
As of 10 p.m., at least three small wildfires were reported in the higher terrain near the small town.
Firefighters have been dispatched to knock down the fires, but we're told they are having difficulty accessing the fires due to the complex terrain.
STORMTracker meteorologist Mike Rawlins says a storm moved over that area on Friday evening, producing nearly a dozen cloud-to-ground lightning strikes, but very little rain.
We are working to gather additional information, and we'll update this story as new details come in.
(UPDATE, 12:02 a.m. Saturday) Lewis & Clark County/City of Helena 911 Center posted the following information Facebook:
As Im sure most of the valley can see, we have 2 fires going right now. One on Black Mtn that crews are working on right now. Its small, only a couple trees. And. One on Stonewall that chewed up a little acreage till things settled down and RHs came up. Quite visible and obviously got people paying attention. It will be worked on after sunrise. Its in some nasty terrain with dead and down jackstrawed all over. No place to put FFs in without some good planning. We all go home. Safety is paramount.
With resources stretched thin due to all the fires in the state, everyone will be doing what they can to get this knocked out as fast as they can. We will be in line like everyone else as far as planes and helos and teams. Obviously fires with a bigger threat to homes and people will be higher up the pole. Not to mention, this storm popped fires all around us as well, from Wolf Creek to Augusta to Marysville. But- that doesn't mean we won't do everything possible to make this go away.
Please be patient and understanding, stay out of areas crews are using, and keep all the crews in your thoughts.
(UPDATE, 8:25 a.m. Saturday) LVFR posted the following information:
A wildfire NW of Lincoln, near Stonewall Mountain, had an overnight fire that has grown to about 15 acres. DNRC is working on getting crews to the fire this morning. This is being called the Park Creek Peak fire. A 2nd fire along Lyons Creek, (Wolf Creek), was limited to .2 of an acre. Overnight suppression efforts have the fire 100% contained. Some local VFD resources are also headed to Cascade County this morning to assist with mop-up operations from 3 fires they encountered last night.
Very dry air and gusty winds will lead to critical fire weather conditions for firefighters on Saturday.
The National Weather Service has issued a Fire Weather Warning for most of northeast Montana for Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning.
The warning means a dangerous combination of dry air and wind will make battling wildfires difficult.
Anyone working or playing outdoors during this time period should use extreme caution to prevent the start of new wildfires.
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