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Winds fan Corral Fire; more evacuations ordered

Winds fan Corral Fire; more evacuations ordered

More evacuations are being ordered due to heavy winds and increased activity with the Corral Fire in the Scratchgravel Hills northwest of Hele…

June 26, 2012 6:28 am Photos

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Corral Fire burns three structures northwest of Helena

HELENA - A wildfire erupted in the Scratchgravel Hills northwest of Helena, sending a plume of black smoke skyward and prompting the evacuatio…

June 25, 2012 9:22 pm Related Loading…

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Neptune's firefighting jets await word on future Forest Service contracts

Neptune's firefighting jets await word on future Forest Service contracts

A maintenance worker walks between Neptune Aviation’s five new BAe-146 jet tankers lined up outside Neptune’s hangar at Missoula International Airport in May.

MISSOULA — Neptune Aviation’s big firefighting jets are all back in Missoula for the winter, while their owners watch the mailbox for news of their flying future.

“The Forest Service is coming out with seven of what we’re calling the Next-Gen 2.0 contracts,” Neptune Chief Executive Officer Ron Hooper said. “We expected to see the notice on the first of November. We’re anxious to see the RFP (request for proposals) so we can see how many aircraft we’ve got working next year.”

Neptune still has three years remaining on its “legacy” contract with the Forest Service that covers six of its aging P2V propeller-driven retardant bombers and one of its new BAe-146 jet bombers. But its one-season contracts for three more BAe-146s have expired.

Meanwhile, the company has brought on two more of the jets, for a total of six. The BAe’s are Neptune’s answer to the Forest Service’s next-generation air tanker policy, which calls for a private fleet of 18 to 28 modern aircraft able to carry at least 3,000 gallons of fire retardant and travel at least 350 mph to fight forest fires.

Five other companies have successfully landed next-gen contracts. Several of those challenged Neptune’s bids for a slice of the business and got its contract awards overturned.

November 23, 2014 1:05 pmLoading…
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Wyoming has light wildfire season

Wyoming has light wildfire season

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Wyoming saw its least active wildfire season in five years, freeing up state firefighters to help with wildfires in other sta…

November 18, 2014 3:00 pmLoading…

Frigid arctic blast halts fierce Wyoming wildfire

BUFFALO, Wyo. — A brutal blast of snow and arctic cold has stopped a raging Wyoming wildfire in its tracks.

November 10, 2014 12:23 pmLoading…
Overheated muffler sparks 152-acre fire near Missoula

Overheated muffler sparks 152-acre fire near Missoula

The grass fire that raced up Upper Miller Creek Road’s northside hill blackened more than 152 acres and reminded Missoulians the 2014 fire sea…

September 22, 2014 8:27 pm Photos

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Guest opinion: Global warming makes firefighting more dangerous

As former Montana smokejumpers we are increasingly alarmed by the severity, size, and expense of wildfires. The weather this year in Montana m…

September 07, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Firefighter recounts rescuing mountain lion cubs from blaze

Firefighter recounts rescuing mountain lion cubs from blaze

FLORENCE — One of the firefighters on the crew that found a pair of mountain lion cubs in a fire near Florence said she’s glad both animals go…

August 31, 2014 8:21 pm Photos

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State sees savings as fires burn 5 percent of average acreage this summer

State sees savings as fires burn 5 percent of average acreage this summer

So far, the 2014 wildfire season in Montana has been defined more by what hasn’t happened than by what has.

August 29, 2014 12:15 am Photos

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Crews working to contain wildfire near Grass Range

Crews working to contain wildfire near Grass Range

Crews are working to contain a wildfire burning on 1,100 acres about seven miles northeast of Grass Range.

August 20, 2014 6:55 am Photos

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Washington's largest mule deer herd threatened by fires

Washington's largest mule deer herd threatened by fires

Washington’s largest deer herd will have to be reduced by hunting, and winter feeding is planned for the survivors in the aftermath of wildfir…

August 15, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

Wyoming Guard copter to help in firefighting

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Gov. Matt Mead has activated a Wyoming Army National Guard helicopter and its crew to help firefighters battling wildfires in…

August 14, 2014 4:40 pmLoading…
Wildfires burn fewer acres in Montana this season

Wildfires burn fewer acres in Montana this season

HELENA — Officials say the number of wildfires in Montana this year is about average, but the number of acres burned is well below the norm.

August 14, 2014 2:20 pmLoading…
Wyoming wildland fire fund untapped so far

Wyoming wildland fire fund untapped so far

CASPER, Wyo. — Thanks to a relatively quiet wildfire season so far in Wyoming, firefighting agencies have yet to tap a $16 million fund alloca…

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Crews try to keep wildfires away from homes near Thompson Falls

Fire crews are still hard at work fighting the Thompson River Complex fires burning near Plains and Thompson Falls.

August 11, 2014 7:24 amLoading…
Wyoming firefighting agencies yet to tap fund for wild land fires

Wyoming firefighting agencies yet to tap fund for wild land fires

CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming firefighting agencies have yet to tap the approximately $16 million fund allocated for fire suppression in the state.

August 11, 2014 12:15 amLoading…

Trails reopened after fire is contained

Two trails into the Lava Lake area south of Bozeman were reopened on Friday after firefighters contained a fire burning just above the lake.

August 08, 2014 10:08 amLoading…
Crooked Creek fire controlled; recreation area open

Crooked Creek fire controlled; recreation area open

Wildland firefighters had the Crooked Creek fire on the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge 100 percent contained by Sunday and under …

August 06, 2014 3:07 pmLoading…

Gallatin forest fire aided by rainfall

The lightning caused Lava Lake fire burning in heavy fuels in a rugged portion of the Gallatin National Forest south of Bozeman was 40 percent…

August 05, 2014 10:57 amLoading…
Firefighters attack 1 blaze near I-90, mop up another off West 64th

Firefighters attack 1 blaze near I-90, mop up another off West 64th

Firefighters finished mopping up a 10-acre grass fire at about 3 p.m. Thursday near Hardin.

July 31, 2014 2:28 pm Photos

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Bighorn Forest fire fully contained

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Firefighters have contained a wildfire burning in the Bighorn National Forest in northern Wyoming.

July 30, 2014 9:30 amLoading…
Roundup fire "knocked down"

Roundup fire "knocked down"

Tuesday afternoon's wildfire between Bender Road and Kelly Road near Roundup has been "knocked down pretty good," said Musselshell County Sher…

July 30, 2014 7:51 am Photos

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Wildfire burns 100-150 acres near Roundup

Wildfire burns 100-150 acres near Roundup

A fire in the Roundup area near Bender Road has burned between 100 and 150 acres, according to the Roundup Disaster and Emergency Services Fac…

July 29, 2014 4:13 pm Photos

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Fires continue to burn near Billings

Fires continue to burn near Billings

Two fires continued to burn near Billings on Monday.

July 28, 2014 4:42 pmLoading…

Missing firefighter found alive on remote road

DARBY – A Bitterroot National Forest firefighter missing since Sunday afternoon was found alive Monday afternoon by search crews.

July 28, 2014 4:02 pmLoading…

Small wildfires breaking out in northwest Wyoming

JACKSON, Wyo. — Several small wildfires have broken out in northwest Wyoming over the past several days.

July 28, 2014 2:15 pmLoading…
Mild so far: Officials say there's still time left for lots of wildfires

Mild so far: Officials say there's still time left for lots of wildfires

Wildfire activity in Montana has been fairly quiet so far in 2014, but officials hope residents don’t let down their guard as the season heats up.

July 27, 2014 7:00 pmLoading…
Small wildfires keep Montana firefighters busy

Small wildfires keep Montana firefighters busy

Firefighters attacked and monitored several wildfires around Montana over the weekend.

July 27, 2014 2:38 pm Related Loading…

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Interactive: 2013 wildfires

Interactive: 2013 wildfires

An interactive showing active blazes and charting more than 50 years of wildfire devastation

July 01, 2013 7:06 amLoading…