Firefighters are currently on the scene of three new lightning caused wildfires burning in the Bitterroot National Forest. All of the fires were discovered this afternoon and were likely started by lightning from last night’s dry thunderstorms. Two firefighters were flown in by helicopter to one of the more remote fires burning on the West Fork Ranger District northwest of Bare Cone Lookout near Watchtower trailhead. All of the fires are currently less than one acre in size.

Fire crews from the Darby Ranger District also assisted the Hamilton Fire Department this afternoon with a lightning caused fire on private property near Roaring Lion. All total, fire crews have responded to and extinguished 8 lightning caused wildfires on the Bitterroot National Forest this week. Ravalli County Commissioners passed an ordinance today restricting open burning within Ravalli County. The new restrictions prohibit open burning, slash pile burning, and fireworks. Smoking is also prohibited except within an enclosed vehicle or building and campfires must be within an established pit or fire ring. The public can learn more about the new restrictions at www.rc.mt.gov

Spokesman Todd McKay