Lightning has caused at least nine new forest fires on the Bitterroot National Forest, according to Information Officer Tod McKay. The slow-moving storms started Sunday evening.
Four fires are burning east of Hamilton in the Sapphire Mountains on the Darby Ranger District and five smaller fires are burning up the West Fork on the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness.
The fires east of Hamilton are about 10 miles east of Hamilton and a few miles north of the Gird Point Lookout. The largest is 50 acres in size and five engines and 20 firefighters have been sent to the fires, and more personnel are on their way. No structures are threatened at this time, McKay said in a news release.
The three largest fires will be known as the Forty One Complex.
Over in Idaho, the Clear/Nez Fire Zone Update reported several reports of new fires and aircraft are flying through the zone, with personnel looking for any other holder lightning strikes.
The Granite Pass Fire north of Lolo Pass is now about 800 acres, with smoke drifting toward Missoula. The East Fork Fire in the Red River Ranger District in the wilderness is now at 4,700 acres.