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Estimated 200+ lightning strikes across Lolo National Forest

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Posted at 8:42 AM, Aug 14, 2022

An estimated 200+ lightning strikes have occurred in the last 24-hour time period across the Lolo National Forest.

According to the agency's Facebook post Saturday morning, firefighters are anticipating more lightning-caused fires to appear throughout the next several days as a result of the recent storms.

Patrols and detection flights will be active throughout the Lolo National Forest area and firefighters and managers are anticipating further initial attack on multiple fire fronts.

The Lolo National Forest is in EXTREME Fire Danger which means fires of all types start quickly and burn intensely.

Remember, if you are out recreating and see smoke please report it to 9-1-1 or the closest authority.

Garden Point Fire

Location: Ninemile Ranger District, located approximately 21 miles west of Missoula, 10 miles south of I-90, and 7 miles northeast of Lolo Hot Springs/Highway 12, located in the headwaters of Berdette Creek west of Garden Point, two miles north of Wagon Mountain Road #33 in a drainage bottom.

Size: approximately 2-3 acres

Fuel Type: Heavy timber, dead and downed fuels

Cause: Lightning

Fire Behavior: Single-tree torching, moderate to active fire behavior. Smoke may be visible from Petty Creek and Fish Creek drainages.

Weather: Hot, dry and potentially breezy at times with low relative humidity.

Closures: No closures are in place and no infrastructure is currently threatened. Residents in Petty Creek, Alberton, or Fish Creek may see or hear helicopter and aircraft activity or firefighting traffic.

Update: Multiple resources are engaged on this fire and one Hotshot crew has been assigned to this fire. Due to limited roads and trails in the area, gaining access to the fire is a challenge to ground crews. Today, helicopters or fixed-wing aircraft may be utilized as needed to cool and check fire spread as firefighters on the groundwork to gain access and better determine suppression options. Due to better reconnaissance, the fire location has been determined to be burning in a drainage bottom in heavy dead and down fuels. Firefighter and public safety is the top priority.