Fire season has officially arrived. Hot temperatures and hot air have turned western Montana into a industrial dehydrator. But, we are not making banana chips, jerky or fruit leather. With conditions like we are seeing around the state, it doesn't take much more than a spark to set an entire mountain on fire.

Our friends at Newstalk KGVO have been reporting on the Mount Sentinel fire since it broke out yesterday. According to their interview with Missoula City Fire Chief Jeff Brandt, he said:

we received a phone call around just after six o'clock tonight and it actually came in as a structure fire,” he said. “So we were a bit behind the curve starting out with because we responded with our Type One engines and not our Wildland Fire engines. But as soon as we got close to the scene, we realized what it was and redirected resources and got help to come in, and so we were able to anchor in the bottom and we just started working out and quite frankly, the helicopters and that coordination with the Forest Service and DNRC was able to first hinder and then stop this fire.”

Brandt said the investigation into how the fire started is now underway.

The mop up process continued into today. According to an update from Angel earlier today:

The rest of the mountain is still closed for recreation, due to fire mop-up operations. Officials ask that you stay clear of the area of the burn so that fire crews can work safely and efficiently.
Elizabeth Williams had a great view of the fire from her front yard, and manged to capture time lapse footage. The following video shows just how fast the fire can spread.