Gov. Gianforte (r) and Cory Calnan (l), county coop program manager for the DNRC, survey the Willow Creek Fire site on June 11. PHOTO COURTESY OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR

Willow Creek fire southwest of Three Forks completely contained

It’s official – wildfire season is upon us with more hot, dry weather in the forecast.

Looking at the extremes, in southeast Montana the Northern Rockies Coordination Center predicted the stuff wildfires are made of: temps on June 15 of up to 109 degrees accompanied by with single-digit relative humidity and 40 mph wind gusts.

The Lobo Mesa Wildfire burns in the southern Gravelly Mountains Sept. 14, 2020. Photo courtesy of the Madison Ranger District.

Fire season

Representatives from the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC), the Madison Ranger District and Madison County Emergency Management attended the Madison County Board of Commissioners’ meeting on May 11 to update the commissioners on the upcoming fire season.

Duchess, a six-year-old Anatolian Shepherd-Great Pyrenees mix, traveled nearly 20 miles when the Monument fire blew up in early August. Nearly three weeks later, she was reunited with her family. (Debi Reynolds)

Homeward Bound

MADISON VALLEY—The 2018 fire season led to an eight-family evacuation in the Haypress Lakes subdivision while the Monument and Wigwam fires consumed tinder-dry brush in the Gravelly Range. 

Above - Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest District Ranger Dave Sabo briefs visitors on the status of the Monument and Wigwam fires at the Ennis Forest Service office on Monday, August 13. (R. Colyer photo).

Fire forces evacuation

ENNIS—The Monument Fire southwest of Cameron, first detected on August 6, continued to grow over the weekend and measured 4,215 acres as of Monday morning. 

A second fire, the Wigwam Fire, was first detected on August 11 and has grown to almost 2,000 acres. Both fires are currently zero percent contained. 

More Information

The Madisonian

65 N. MT Hwy 287
Ennis, MT 59729

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