LAST UPDATED: 8/18/17, 2:27 PM
Montana is 93 million acres of spectacular unspoiled nature. Because of our diverse landscape and weather, wildfires happen as a natural part of Montana’s ecology. Sometimes a fire occurs near a popular destination, but there’s no reason to let it stop you from enjoying your Montana experience!
This summer, active fires are impacting less than 0.2% of the state—and often they’re in remote locations. Montana’s two national parks, 54 state parks, and all our vibrant and charming small towns are open for business and ready to serve you.
Below you’ll see information about fires with potential impacts on travel. If a fire is occurring near your destination, remember it’s being managed by experts whose top priority is public safety. If an area is open, it’s safe.
If you have questions or would like assistance with your Montana itinerary, feel free to call a travel counselor at 1-800-847-4868 or go to VisitMT.com to start a live chat.
LOLO PEAK FIRE
Date of Origin: Saturday, July 15
Location: 10 miles southwest of Lolo, Montana
Size: 18,896 acres
Percent Contained: 0%
Latest News: Fire activity continued yesterday along the ridge north of Carlton Lake and into the top of Mormon Creek drainage in the area impacted by Wednesday’s run.
Additional evacuation orders and warnings were given to residents on the east side of the fire. The evacuation orders and warnings along both the highway 12 and 93 corridors are still in effect.
Highway 12 remains open with a pilot car for access through the fire area.
Date of Origin: Sunday, July 16
Location: 11 miles southeast of Superior, MT
Size: 22,309 acres
Percent Contained: 30%
Latest News: The fire is moving down Trout Creek. Continued fire growth to the north, east and south will threaten structures. Long-range spotting with the expected gusty southwest winds has the potential to cross the Clark Fork River and I-90, impacting traffic, the Montana Rail Link rail line, transmission lines and additional structures. Burnouts along control lines will be necessary to direct main fire front away from communities. Continued fire perimeter growth is expected along uncontrolled fire edges.
RICE RIDGE FIRE
Date of Origin: Monday, July 24
Location: Along Rice Ridge, approximately 3 miles northeast of Seeley Lake on the Seeley Lake Ranger District, Lolo National Forest.
Size: 12,861 acres
Percent Contained: 10%
Latest News: There is an increased potential for fire growth due to Red Flag Warnings. Fire managers will continue to use strategic firing operations along Morrell Mountain, working off the completed areas from the past several days. Firing operations will only be used if wind and weather conditions permit. Aircraft will be dropping retardant as needed to assist firefighting and firing operations. Crews along the western and northern portion of the fire will continue to monitor fire activity. Additionally, fire crews will be maintaining hose lays and pumps to support holding and suppression efforts along the indirect line. Fuels reduction on the north and east side of the Double Arrow Ranch will continue.
Seeley Lake waters are now open for recreation.
If smoke is heavy or you’re sensitive to it, you may wish to consider adjusting your itinerary to experience one of Montana’s indoor activities or explore a different area until air quality improves. Explore things to do at VisitMT.com.
Even if you see smoke, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re close to a fire. Sometimes smoke blows in from hundreds of miles away.
Here’s the latest air quality update from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality:
The Montana Department of Environmental Quality has issued an air quality alert for Broadwater, Deer Lodge, Gallatin, Granite, Jefferson, Lewis and Clark, Mineral, Missoula, Powell, Ravalli, and Silver Bow counties in effect until further notice due to increased fire activity in west-central Montana. Fire activity is expected to remain high under a red flag warning this afternoon. Air quality impacts are expected to improve briefly this afternoon before conditions deteriorate this evening. Impacts are most significant in the Seeley Lake area. Smoke from the Rice Ridge fire is causing hazardous air quality impacts between midnight and noon. The Missoula City-County Health Department recommends residents spend as little night time as possible in Seeley Lake due to the dangerous overnight pollution levels.
For more information, click here.
To help reduce the risk of fires, restrictions are sometimes in place. This may be particularly important to you if you’re planning to camp.
Stage II Fire Restrictions are in effect for the following counties: Blaine, Choteau, Fergus, Flathead, Glacier, Granite, Lake, Lincoln, Mineral, Missoula, Musselshell, Petroleum, Powell, Ravalli, Sanders, Treasure, Wheatland, Yellowstone.
For a map and more information, click here.