DILLON – A wildfire was reported Tuesday afternoon at 2:40 pm 1 mile South of Bannack State Park in Beaverhead County. As of 5:30 pm on Tuesday evening the fire is 0% contained and has burned approximately 40 acres of grass, sagebrush, and timber.
The fire is likely the result of a lightning strike either from Monday or Tuesday afternoon.
Numerous agencies responded to fight the fire and include MT DNRC, BLM, Beaverhead-Deer Lodge National Forest along with local volunteer fire departments. There are 40 personnel on scene along with 3 fire engines with 1 helicopter. Crews are working to establish a containment line to keep the fire from advancing.
There were several other fires in Beaverhead County today. Lima Volunteer Fire Department contained a small fire South of Clark Canyon Reservoir near Bible Camp. The Dillon Volunteer Fire Department is searching for possible fires in the Blacktail area near Cabin Creek and Cottonwood Canyon.
The weather forecast for Wednesday is mostly dry, however, a dry cold front will pass through Montana Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning and produce stronger surface winds statewide. This will increase fire danger not only for holdover lightning strikes from today with possible new fire starts but a bigger concern is for new accidental human-triggered fires Wednesday.
The general wind forecast for SW Montana Wednesday is calling for West winds 10 to 20 mph Wednesday afternoon and possibly reaching 20 to 30 mph into the early evening hours. A Fire Weather Watch is up east of the divide mostly for Central and Northern counties.
The Dillon Interagency Dispatch Center tells us that as fuels dry, people are reminded to be careful with all fires. Extinguish all campfires completely and to keep motorized vehicles on roads and trails.