New Fire Bursts Forth in Montana’s Scapegoat Wilderness
A new forest fire was spotted Sunday in the Scapegoat Wilderness, 20 miles north of Ovando, Montana. The Dry Cabin Fire was 10 acres at first glance and then grew to 50 acres within hours. As of Wednesday, July 14, the fire is 300 acres in size and is in heavy timber near other burned areas. Due to limited resources, the wilderness fire will be using local personnel, who will plan a long-duration plan with limited response. Other fires are being fought under a Full Suppression effort. Firefighting resources are being stretched thin early in this fire season.
The new fire is only one of several that have been reported this week with lightning the main cause in this continuing hot, dry weather in the West. Montana, Idaho and Arizona have the most active fires, but California and Oregon have the largest, so far.
Surrounding Missoula and Hamilton, the fires we're watching are:
Smoke is coming from Idaho into the Bitterroot and Missoula Valleys. One of the larger fires is the Snake River Complex south of Lewiston at over 96,000 acres. The Hamilton Air Quality level was "Moderate" much of Wednesday, with a slip into "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups" in the early afternoon.