The National Weather Service reports that over 200 lightning strikes in the western Montana area late Friday resulted in numerous small wildfires being battled over the weekend.

We spoke to Meteorologist Alex Lukenbeal early Sunday morning for details.

“We had an influx of monsoon moisture push across the Great Basin into western Montana the last few days, and with that, we saw quite a bit of thunderstorms,” began Lukenbeal. “Quite a bit of thunderstorms developed, many of which had fairly high bases. So, wetting rains were pretty spotty, and as a result, we saw a pretty substantial number of wildfires start pretty much all across western Montana. Each national forest is reporting quite a bit of new fires out there.”

Montana Talks logo
Get our free mobile app

Lukenbeal echoed what the Missoula County Fire Protection Association has been telling us since the fire danger in the area has been raised from ‘very high’ to ‘extreme’.

Our news partners at NBC Montana are reporting that the DNRC (Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation) issued a press release on Saturday about battling several small spot fires in western Montana, with the largest being about 20 acres near Salmon Lake.

Fire officials urge all who are recreating in the forests around western Montana to be extremely cautious with campfires and make sure they are all dead out before leaving your campsite.

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.

LOOK: The most extreme temperatures in the history of every state

Stacker consulted 2021 data from the NOAA's State Climate Extremes Committee (SCEC) to illustrate the hottest and coldest temperatures ever recorded in each state. Each slide also reveals the all-time highest 24-hour precipitation record and all-time highest 24-hour snowfall.

Keep reading to find out individual state records in alphabetical order.

TIPS: Here's how you can prepare for power outages

More From Montana Talks