Fires ignite along train tracks by Wye

Rob Chaney Joshua Murdock

At least six separate fires started Saturday evening north of the Wye freeway intersection west of Missoula, according to Frenchtown Rural Fire Department.

The fires appeared to be igniting along railroad tracks in the hill slopes along Highway 93 northeast of the intersection with Interstate 90. Although several homes are threatened by the advancing fire, Frenchtown Fire officers said no evacuations had been ordered as of 8 p.m. Saturday.

At least one helicopter was delivering water drops to the fires, and single-engine air tanker planes were on request to assist in controlling the fire spread.

A Neptune Aviation BAe 146 was dropping retardant on the east side of the fire perimeter.

The fire was mainly in grass but heading toward patches of timber northeast of the truck station. Fire engines were deployed between the fire line and homes to the south.

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Frenchtown crews requested backup help from Missoula Rural Fire, Arlee Fire, East Missoula Fire, Missoula County Sheriff’s Office, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, Lolo National Forest and the Flathead National Forest Hot Shots.

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