Lightning sparks small wildfire on Blue Mountain

The Missoula area saw its first lightning-caused wildfire Sunday when passing storms started a fire at the bottom of Blue Mountain. 

Firefighters from Missoula Rural Fire Department and the U.S. Forest Service responded at 6:13 p.m. Sunday to reports of two lightning-sparked wildfires burning above the recreation trailhead at the eastern base of Blue Mountain, southwest of Missoula. According to Missoula Rural Fire Department, multiple people in Missoula reported seeing lighting strikes followed by smoke and visible flames.

Smoke appeared to be coming from two separate fires, according to the agency, but firefighters determined there was one fire burning. 

Firefighters arrived on scene to find about 0.1 acres of grass and timber ablaze with fire slowly moving upslope north of the upper end of Skyway Drive, about 0.9 miles southwest of the Blue Mountain hiking and mountain biking trailhead. Firefighters contained the fire in about 45 minutes. Forest Service firefighters will monitor the scene for a few days, according to the Missoula Rural Fire Department. 

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Fourteen firefighters between Missoula Rural Fire Department and the Forest Service responded to the blaze. Missoula Rural responded with two fire engines, a water tender

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