HELENA — The Helena- Lewis and Clark National Forest are reporting multiple new lightning-caused wildland fire starts over the past 12 hours.
Rising Moon Fire
The Rising Moon Fire near Canyon Ferry Dam is the highest priority of the new starts and was first reported around 9:30 p.m. on Monday. As of Tuesday, the fire had burned an estimated 200 acres. Ground and air crews worked the fire Tuesday, with tankers making drops throughout the morning.
Tri-Lakes Volunteer Fire Department arrived on scene first and were joined by Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, the U.S. Forest service, and the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Department. The DNRC and Tri-Lakes Volunteer Fire department are now managing the fire under unified command.
Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office have evacuated and closed Eagle Bay Drive for public safety during the fire. Tuesday night, deputies spoke with people at about 40 residences in the evacuation area and 11 chose to evacuate. People are asked to respect the closure and allow firefighters to safely do their job. Firefighters are currently working to suppress the fire and protect private lands and structures in the area using wildland fire engines, heavy equipment, and air resources.
There will be a public meeting tonight concerning the fire at 8:00 pm at the Tri-Lakes Fire Station #3 (3200 Spokane Creek Rd).
Horse Gulch Fire
The Horse Gulch Fire south of York was estimated at around 5 acres. The fire was contained around 1:30 a.m. and resources that could be released were then moved to assist with the Rising Moon Fire.
The Tamarack Fire fire started from lightning Monday night on BLM-managed land northwest of Augusta. The fire has burned around 482 acres. Currently, the fire is no longer actively spreading and is being mopped up. Resources that supported suppression efforts include the Augusta Volunteer Fire Department, DNRC, BLM and USFS.
South Fork Lyons Creek Fire
Just south of Wolf Creek, the South Fork Lyons Creek Fire is burning around 2 acres. The Forest Service report they are providing assistance to suppress this fire and Wolf Creek Volunteer Fire Department also on scene. Eight smoke jumpers have jumped, DNRC Helitack Crew is on scene working the fire, and Forest Service engine crew are also hiking in to assist.
Deer Creek Fire
The U.S. Forest Service is also keeping an eye on the Deer Creek Fire which is burning southeast of Deadman Hill in the Scapegoat Wilderness. USFS reports the fire is burning within the 2007 Ahron Fire area and received recent precipitation.