Ravalli Co. reopens road after closure due to runoff


MISSOULA, Mont. - Heavy runoff forced closure of a road south of Victor on the valley's west side most of Thursday.

The Ravalli County Sheriff's Office notified the public Thursday morning that Middle Bear Creek Road near the intersection of Tushapaw Road was closed.

Waters in Bear Creek's south channel swelled and began to erode gravel at the edge of the bridge. Water had washed about a quarter of the road just north of there.

Truck driver Steve Anderson came upon the closure with his semitruck. He had been hauling heavy equipment.

"I just delivered that," he said. "But it is what it is. So now I've got to back up 2 miles to get out of here."

The Ravalli County Sheriff's Office announced the road had been reopened about 2:30 p.m.

Sporadic rain and some thunder had been evident in parts of the Bitterroot Thursday.

Victor Fire Chief Scott Hackett said his crews were on their first lightning-caused fire on Wednesday.

Hackett said it was a small fire they were able to put out quickly in the Big Creek drainage just north west of Victor.