Firefighters have responded to and extinguished over 30 wildfires in the Bitterroot National Forest this summer, but 18 new wildfires were started by lightning this week and all but four are currently contained.
Summer and the fire season arrived a month early. There was hope that the coming winter might bring lots of snowpack to keep this dry spring and summer from happening two years in a row. Unfortunately, the exact opposite may be true.
UPDATE -- 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, July 8. The National Weather Service is predicting wet thunderstorms with the potential for flash flooding Thursday and Friday that could continue through the weekend. The southern Bitterroot Valley could be hardest hit.
Showers and thunderstorms are expected throughout the rest of the week in the Missoula area, but Meterologist Luke Robinson with the National Weather Service said there are more than thunderstorm watches to be aware of this evening.