Lighting Strike Splits Tree and Causes Small Fire on Mt. Jumbo
Missoula City Fire Department crews responded to Mt. Jumbo early Tuesday morning after a small fire was reported.
Captain Richard Wear said the call came in at about 6:00 a.m. and crews hiked to the scene to find that a tree had been struck by lightning and had burst into flames. He said no other area was burned around the tree itself. He said the 30 foot tree was split in half by the lightning strike. They quickly extinguished the fire.
DNRC Fire Prevention Specialist Jordan Koppen said the small fire was an excellent example of the concept ‘see something, say something’.
“There was a lightning storm in the area and crews successfully extinguished the fire,” said Koppen. “After last night’s thunderstorms, we have some detection flights going up today due to interagency discussions I’ve overheard. We’ll be out there looking for smokes from any hold over fires. We got a little rain from last night’s thunderstorm, and there could be a lot of hold over fires.”
Koppen repeated his message to those recreating in area forests.
“Our message to the public is to be extremely cautious with ignition sources out there,” he said. “Let us stay busy fighting fires started by lightning and keep the human caused fires to a minimum.”