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  • Fire near Glacier National Park up to 80 acres

    Published On: Jun 29 2015 10:44:47 AM MDT   Updated On: Jun 29 2015 10:53:03 AM MDT
    COLUMBIA FALLS, Mont. -

    A human-caused fire that began in northwestern Montana over the weekend has spread to 80 acres and has started eight spot fires in Glacier National Park.

    Flathead National Forest spokeswoman Ema Braunberger says firefighters were being taken by boat across the North Fork of the Flathead River to work on the spot fires after efforts Sunday to hike down to the area failed because it was too hot and crews couldn't take enough water.

    Ninety firefighters are working on the blaze, which started Saturday in a gravel pit north of Columbia Falls. It was 25 percent contained Monday morning.

    Crews were preparing for the possibility of thunderstorms and gusty winds on Monday afternoon. Eight homeowners were warned they may have to evacuate.

    The fire was human-caused, but Braunberger says officials don't know how it started.

  • Crews respond to wildfire near Glacier National Park

    Published On: Jun 27 2015 06:48:55 PM MDT   Updated On: Jun 27 2015 10:47:09 PM MDT
    MISSOULA, Mont. -

    UPDATE: Before nightfall, Flathead National Forest officials said the fire was last sized at 30 acres. Spokeswoman Ema Braunberger said the blaze was approaching the edge of Glacier National Park, and that containing the fire before it reached the park was a priority. Braunberger expects a Type 3 Incident Management team to take over containment efforts Sunday morning.

    ***

    A wildfire that broke out Saturday afternoon near Glacier National Park has forced the closure of a popular weekend road on a day that has seen record breaking heat.

    The fire is located approximately 11 miles up North Fork Road and started at a gravel pit located west of the Flathead River, according to Ema Braunberger, Public Information Officer with the Flathead National Forest.

    People as far away as Whitefish reported seeing a smoke column sent up by the blaze, which responders have named the Glacier Rim Fire.

    Braunberger says the fire started in moderate fuels, but worked its way into heavy fuels, where it is now burning on approximately 20 acres.

    The Flathead County Sheriff's Department has closed North Fork Road to traffic to give responders room to operate, Braunberger said.

    Approximately 50 firefighters with Columbia Rural Fire, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Montana DNRC are on scene, and they are supported by 2 helicopters making bucket drops.

    Braunberger says no structures are threatened at this time.

    She expects a Type 3 fire response team to take over containment efforts later Saturday night.

    Check back for more details.

  • North Fork Rd. reopened despite Glacier Rim Fire

    Published On: Jun 30 2015 06:28:09 AM MDT   Updated On: Jun 30 2015 12:00:00 AM MDT

    Looking over the fire scene from North Fork Road.

    KALISPELL, Mont. -

    North Fork Road reopened to the public Monday. The road was temporarily closed on Saturday while crews gained control of the Glacier Rim Fire, which jumped over the road into Glacier National Park. 

    The fire is 25 percent contained, but Colter Pence, PIO with the Forest Service, says the road is safe for traveling as long as people exercise caution and don't pull off to the side. Pence says the river is also open for vacationers to take advantage of, but the Forest Service is asking travelers to not get out of the river as they float through affected areas. She says traffic can disrupt the route of the rescue helicopters scooping water out of the river and carrying it across the road to dump on the flames. 

    "Exercise caution and have your sense of awareness up," she says. "If you notice changing conditions, check in with an official." 

    At this time, crews do not have an estimate of when the fire will be out.

  • Wildfire near Livingston contained after 125 acres burned

    Published On: Jun 28 2015 02:42:21 PM MDT   Updated On: Jun 29 2015 12:00:00 AM MDT
    MISSOULA, Mont. -

    Update: Fire officials have confirmed that the blaze burned more than 125 acres of grass and brush before crews contained the blaze.

    As of late Sunday evening, firefighters turned over the fire to the US Forest Service of the Custer Gallatin National Forest.

    The fire started on public land and spread to private land.

    The cause of the fire is under investigation.

    ***

    A crew with the Livingston Fire Department is currently responding to a wildfire reported northeast of Livingston.

    We're told the blaze started at around half an acre and quickly grew to 12 acres, and is located off of Convict Grade Road, in between Highway 89 North and Springdale, on the North Side of the Yellowstone River.

    Livingston Fire Department Captain Josh Pierce said the fire is contained to one ranch and is not threatening any structures. He said evacuation is not necessary at this time.

    We have a reporter in route. Check back for more information.

  • Items belonging to missing hunter found in Crazy Mountains

    Published On: Jun 29 2015 04:31:09 PM MDT
    BIG TIMBER, Mont. -

    A man doing some fencing work in the Crazy Mountains found items belonging to a 38-year-old Bozeman man who went missing during an elk hunt in September 2014.

    The Big Timber Pioneer reports Roger Beslanowitch of Powell, Wyoming, was working at a ranch on June 19 when he saw something orange in the brush. He found a bow, backpack, field gear and a hunting license with Aaron Hedges' name on it.

    Beslanowitch and his son-in-law called the Sweet Grass County sheriff's office.
    Search and Rescue Coordinator Alan Ronneberg says a search of the area turned up no more clues. Officials say no more searches are planned unless they get more leads.

    In the fall of 2014, search teams found a pair of boots and other items believed to belong to Hedges near Sweet Grass Creek.

  • Matt Gray's First Alert Video Forecast

    Published On: Jun 29 2015 08:54:39 PM MDT

    Drying out again through July 4th.

  • Brooke's First Alert Video Forecast

    Published On: Jun 29 2015 10:21:58 AM MDT

    The heat will continue this week as afternoon highs climb into the 90s with several areas right around 100. We are tracking a weak disturbance that will spark off a few thunderstorms late this afternoon and evening.

  • Energy company, reservation at odds over forest land near Glacier

    Published On: Jun 28 2015 11:17:00 PM MDT
  • Firefighters respond to several small fires as temperatures rise

    Published On: Jun 29 2015 10:34:53 PM MDT