This story was last updated on Aug. 10. Click here for the latest wildfire news from Northwest Montana.
—Triple-digit temperatures forecast for Kalispell Friday
—Brownstone Fire in Bob Marshall Wilderness tops 1,000 acres
—Red flag warning in effect until Saturday night
An unrelenting heat wave continued to bake western Montana on Friday as the danger for rapidly spreading wildfires continues to grow by the hour.
The high temperatures come as wildfires both locally and regionally continue to fill the area with smoke. As of Friday morning, there are at least four major fires burning in northwest Montana, including a fire deep in the Bob Marshall Wilderness that grew from 366 acres to more than 1,000 acres on Thursday.
Near record highs were reported across Northwest Montana on Thursday and meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Missoula were forecasting more of the same Friday. The mercury hit 95 in Kalispell on Thursday, 95 in Polebridge and a scorching 101 at the Libby Dam. In Pittsburg Landing, Idaho the mercury hit 116 degrees, according to meteorologist Dave Noble.
“We expect temperatures to hit the century mark in Kalispell today,” Noble said.
An excessive heat warning is in effect for all of western Montana.
The heat wave will be followed by a cold front on Saturday that is expected to bring stiff winds to much of northwest Montana. The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for much of the area from noon Friday until 9 p.m. Saturday.
The warm temperatures have fueled significant fire growth across the area. The Brownstone Fire on the Spotted Bear Ranger District in the Bob Marshall Wilderness grew from 366 acres to 1,086 acres this week. Firefighters are monitoring the fire and allowing it to play its natural role on the landscape while also protecting structures and other infrastructure, specifically the Big Prairie Work Center.
The Garden Creek Fire near Hot Springs had burned 2,573 acres as of Friday afternoon and is listed as 10 percent contained. A Type 2 incident management team is coordinating firefighting efforts and 204 personnel are assigned to the fire.
The Ten Mile Fire near Lake Koocanusa had burned 677 acres as of Friday morning and was 22 percent contained. The Davis Fire near Yaak was reported at 380 acres and 25 percent as of Thursday. A Type 2 incident management team was managing both the Davis Fire and the nearby Porcupine Fire west of Rexford. As of Friday morning, the Porcupine Fire was 17 acres and 95 percent contained.
This story will be updated when additional information becomes available.