Gallatin National Forest: Sheep Fire near Gardiner burns 210 acres
The Gallatin National forest Service says the Sheep Fire has burned up to an estimated 210 acres. Officials say it's the most active in the Paradise Valley and Gardiner areas. Gallatin National Forest service says the Sheep Fire is located on the Sawtooth Mountain in Tom Miner Basin, approximately 25 miles northwest of Gardiner.
Gallatin National Forest reports slower activity on the North Eightmile Fire which started Friday. As of Saturday afternoon, North Eightmile Fire near the Gallatin Crest ridgeline has burned up to 76 acres.
Karen Tuscano is the Information Officer for the Gallatin National Forest Service in Livingston.Tuscano says managing and containing wildfires in the Paradise Valley has been difficult.
"We don't have the of local resources to help us out," said Tuscano.
She told NBC Montana the North Eightmile Fire is still a concern and it's burned nearly double since Friday's reported 48 acres. She says the the Sheep Fire continues to burn.
"The helicopter tried to drop some buckets on it, but it was too windy for the helicopter so they had to back off and watch it," said Tuscano.
NBC Montana traveled though the Paradise Valley area and up Divide Road, off Highway 89 South -- only to find thick smoke, billowing into the air. NBC Montana's Eric Turcio was on the scene and reported having trouble breathing as he climbed into higher elevation.
The view of Trail Creek and Divide Road did not allow you to see much as the air was thick and smokey. We noticed it was not until you drove down Divide Road to Highway 89 South, the smoke in the air began to clear.
Tuscano says most of the smoke is coming from wildfires burning in Idaho and surrounding areas of Southwest Montana.
'It makes it hard to see the fires. For instance, right now if we go above Paradise Valley you probably would not see a lot of the smoke in Eightmile Fire," explained Tuscano.
Gallatin National Forest officials tell us warmer and dryer weather is expected throughout the weekend and that could increase fire activity.