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Small fires crop up across Flathead Reservation

by Lake County Leader
| July 19, 2022 12:00 PM

Recent hot and dry weather prompted the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes' Divison of Fire on Monday to elevate the fire danger to "high" on the Flathead Reservation, where a trio of small blazes were reported over the last week.

“Although no restrictions are in place at this time, the extended forecast calls for temperatures in the high 80s, and vegetation is beginning to cure,” a press release from CSKT stated.“ This type of fine, dead fuel is the primary carrier of fire in the wildland, and when fires get established in this fuel type they can quickly spread out of control.”

Fire danger on the Flathead Forest was listed as "moderate" on Tuesday.

The CSKT Division of Fire has already responded to at least one significant wildfire this season. The Wilks Gulch Fire started July 7 and burned about 355 acres of grass and sage brush about 4 miles east of Hot Springs. The blaze drew a response from 40 firefighters. No structures were threatened and no evacuations were ordered, and the blaze was 100% contained.

Just west of Hot Springs, the 3,000 Road Fire was reported Monday, July 18. Meanwhile, the Pablo West Fire was reported Sunday, July 17 immediately west of Pablo.

There was no size estimate or cause listed for either of the fires as of Tuesday.

As of Tuesday, there were 16 active fires burning in Montana, with about 4,600 total acres burned. The Wilks Gulch Fire is the largest thus far this season.

The Division of Fire reminds people to be cautious of fire safety while working or recreating outdoors, particularly during the heat of the day.

People with questions can call the Division of Fire at 406-676-2550.

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