New fire on Montana-Idaho state line

Wildfire Season

The Bitterroot National Forest is fighting its first significant wild land fire of the season.

Lightning Monday night caused two fires in remote sections of the West Fork Ranger District.

No structures are threatened.

The Haystack Fire was 1/10 of an acre and has been put out.

But the Reynolds Fire burning on the Montana-Idaho border on the Bitterroot and Salmon-Challis National Forest near Reynolds Lake has grown substantially.

It was 11 acres Wednesday morning and by afternoon had grown to more than 200 acres.

Firefighters were on the line but have been pulled off due to gusty winds and heavy snags.

The fire is burning in remote, rugged terrain in heavy fuel about 35 miles south west of Darby.

It's really taken off this afternoon with the gusty winds we're getting," said Bitterroot National Forest Assistant Fire Manager Greg Jacobson. "Right now we're hitting it with heavy air tankers out of Missoula and a heavy helicopter that we have working it. We have another heavy helicopter that's hopefully here this afternoon from Colorado."

Jacobson said there were about 12 lightning strikes on the south end of the Bitterroot National Forest.

He said higher elevation country hasn't seen the humidity recovery that we have seen on the valley floor.

The forester said "we're on line for another hot dry summer."

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