Friday Night Lightning Storm Sparks 20 Acre Fire On Kelly Island – Severe Thunderstorm Alert Saturday Evening For Bitterroot
Friday night's lighting storm sparked at least one wildfire, this one close to Missoula on Kelly Island.
Department of Natural Resources and Conservation spokesman Jordan Koppen said the fire was contained on the small island in the Clark Fork River.
"So far, we've only picked up a few small fires from that storm at our southwest Montana land office," Koppen said. "We are responding to a fire on Kelly Island right now and as of 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, the fire was about 20 acres in size. We have two helicopters working on it right now and we actually had to get a Missoula Rural Fire department boat to take our crews out to the island."
Koppen said with more thunderstorms on the horizon for the weekend to please be extremely cautious with any flammable materials.
"We're going to be busy enough with these lightning fires, we sure don't need any human caused fires on top of them," he said. "Our guys are pretty good at extinguishing these small fires, so I expect this one to be well in hand by Saturday night or Sunday morning."
Another round of thunderstorms has made its way into the Bitterroot Valley late on Saturday afternoon, and has sparked a thunderstorm alert for Missoula, as well.
Ravalli County Sheriff Steve Holton has issued an alert for severe thunderstorms with wind gusts of over 60 miles per hour expected near Stevensville.