Downed power lines spark wildfire near Missoula

Downed power lines on Sunday started at least one fire in the Missoula area and may have been involved in another. 

Both fires were controlled by Monday, with firefighter patrols ongoing. No injuries were reported and no structures burned. Smoke from each fire was visible around the area.

Crews were dispatched at 3:47 p.m. Sunday to a small wildfire along Neil Drive, just south of U.S. Highway 12 about 6 miles west of Lolo. According to a news release from the Missoula Rural Fire District, the person who reported the fire said they heard “a loud ‘pop’ and looked outside to see a power line down with smoke and flames nearby.” The district did not say whether the power line was the cause of the fire; the cause is “currently undetermined.” 

Crews arrived on scene to find a wind-driven fire “threatening multiple homes.” Montana Rural firefighters began structure protection efforts and were joined by U.S. Forest Service and Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation wildland firefighters. The fire burned about 10 acres before being controlled Sunday evening. Crews were patrolling the area Monday.

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The Missoula Rural, USFS and DNRC

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