July kicked off with a BANG! I'm not talking about neighborhood fireworks. I'm talking about the angry thunderstorm that swept through the Five Valleys yesterday. The dark clouds gave us a break from the hot sun, but also brought wind gusts, rain and lightning. After witnessing dozens of lighting strike over the course of nearly an hour, I began to worry that any one of those strike could lead to a wildfire. The heatwave we experienced this past week dried up what little moisture we had left in the mountains. The river levels dropped sensationally. In short, the weather created kindling.

Shortly after the lightning strikes of yesterday's storm, a small fire was reported west of Lolo.

According to KPAX

The Sleeman Fire was confirmed at 6:40 p.m. on Thursday, according to the Lolo National Forest.

The fire has burned one acre but there are several spot fires surrounding the main fire.

It is burning in a remote area of the Sleeman Creek drainage, approximately 4.5 miles northwest of Lolo.

The fire seems to be behaving for the most part as of this afternoon. Weather conditions are calm, which is allowing fire fighters to prevent any forward spread. Currently 13 firefighters are building a fire line with the help of 2 helicopters.

With the dry conditions and the 4th of July holiday upon us, remember to be safe wherever you travel. If camping in the national forest, do not bring fireworks. Keep in mind that your vehicle can easily cause a wild fire. Whether it be from a simple spark or the heat of our exhaust pipe. And always make sure that any campfires are "dead out."

Be safe out there!

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