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New fires flare up Northwest Montana

July 30, 2018

A few new wildfires cropped up over the weekend in Northwest Montana where the fire danger is rated as “very high.”

The Davis Fire was estimated at 50 acres Monday morning. It is burning along Davis Creek in a remote section of the Kootenai National Forest northwest of Yaak. A T2 Team was ordered, according to the Kootenai Interagency Dispatch Center.

The Porcupine Fire was at 12 acres on Monday. It was burning in timber west of Rexford near Porcupine Creek on the Kootenai Forest. Resources were on the scene.

Closer to Libby, the Highway 37 was estimated at 70 acres on Monday. Firefighters had the human-caused blaze 40 percent contained.

The fire, started July 19 by a tossed cigarette, was creeping through heavy duff with some areas requiring water drops. Smoldering of stumps and downed logs may continue for several weeks, fire officials said.

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office is no longer controlling traffic along Highway 37, but commuters are advised to use caution between mileposts 4-5.

Fire crews quickly responded to a handful of small fires started by a lightning storm July 28. The largest fire was at Dahl Lake northwest of Marion, which burned just over 2 acres on Plum Creek land. Crews responded to other lightning-caused spot fires less than 0.5 acres in size east of Olney and north of Marion.

Air quality was rated as moderate in the Flathead Valley on Monday, and was rated as good in Libby.

The Kootenai National Forest is under Stage I fire restrictions, which prohibits campfires except within a developed recreation site, as well as smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or while stopped in an area at least 3 feet in diameter that is cleared of all flammable materials.

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