Update: 4:31 PM – July 24, 2022
Missoula – The Frenchtown Rural Fire District said the Pulicat fire was fully contained, and crews were completing disinfection efforts Sunday night.
None of the buildings caught fire, according to Mel Holtz, a spokesman for the Front of Democratic Forces. Holtz said the investigation into the train failure was continuing.
Holtz also said crews of Flathead Hot Shots were heading to the moose fire near Salmon, Idaho, when they saw the fire and jumped in to help.
Update: 10:03 PM – July 23, 2022
Missoula – A string of fires near Wye east of U.S. Highway 93 are believed to be man-made, officials said.
The fires already threatened homes in the area on Saturday evening.
Officials say homeowners have been notified, but no eviction orders have been issued and homes have not been vacated.
RAW video: Wildfires are burning west of Missoula
The French Rural Fire District (FRFD) reports that six small fires that broke out near train tracks have burned 345 acres.
According to the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. Wildfire Dashboard Fire is man-made.
The FRFD confirmed that the fires were caused by a train malfunction.
Officials say an investigation will be conducted, and that the Montana Railroad has been dispatched to pick up the train.
The group of fires is referred to as the Polecat Fire.
Two helicopters and two small planes were seen circling on Saturday evening, dropping water and dampers.
Fire officials said firefighting crews were continuing their nightly operations and decontamination efforts began shortly after 9 p.m.
The FRFD has requested assistance from seven other local firefighting agencies to fight the fires.
MTN news channel at the scene said the fires appeared to be burning in the grass.
Information from Katie Miller, Mark Thorsell and James Dobson is included in this report.
(Report 3: 8:19 PM – July 23, 2022)
Missoula – According to the latest update from the Frenchtown Rural Fire District (FRFD), crews are battling an estimated six North and East Way fires.
The six different fires are located along the railway tracks in the area.
The Democratic Forces for Democracy team indicated that no homes were evacuated and that additional crews arrived at the fires.
According to an online map from the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, the so-called Polecat Fire was reported shortly after 5 p.m. and burned a total of 200 caretakers.
(Second Report: 7:47 PM – July 23, 2022)
Missoula – Large grass fires are burning in the Wye District of West Missoula.
The fire is burning east of Highway 93 North Way.
The Frenchtown Rural Fire District had previously reported that some homes in the area were under threat.
Two helicopters and two small planes threw water and retardants on the fire.
(First Report 6:18 PM – July 23, 2022
Missoula – Homes are threatened by a series of wildfires near Wye west of Missoula.
Crews are responding to four small fires in the area, said Mel Holtz, a spokesman for the Frenchtown Rural Fire District.
One fire was estimated to be about four acres, and one was about 10 acres as of Saturday evening.
The fires occur in an area between Endreland Road to Tucker Lane.
Missoula Rural Fire District, ARIE, and East Missoula Fire Departments were called to the scene—plus the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, and the US Forest Service.
Two helicopters can be seen in the area. Holtz said additional single-engine air tanks have been ordered.
This is an evolving story. Check again for updates.
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