Davis Fire Rushes Over 5,000 Acres, Largest Montana Fire So Far This Year
The Davis Fire has been burning in the north west corner of Montana on the Kootenai National Forest since lightning started it in late July at around 400 acres, but this past weekend, strong winds pushed the fire out past not only the border of the national forest, but over the U.S. Border as well.
"We had a couple of red flag warning days and the fire pushed up into Canada," said fire information officer Pat York. "The first day it grew about 1,500 acres and the second day it grew another 1,500 acres at least. So the acreage today is 5, 479 we have 3,741 acres burned in the United States."
The with more than 3,000 acres in Montana, the Davis fire is more than a third larger than Montana's formerly largest fire, the 2,000 acre Garden Creek Fire, which is still burning northeast of the town of Hot Springs. York says the Davis fire spread quickly, partly because of the types of trees involved.
"All of the fire crews had been putting out spot fires since this fire began because that's just the nature of sub-alpine fir, that's what it does, it likes to spot," York said. It has a high sap content and it just torches and then it just throws embers depending on which direction the wind is moving and because of the dry conditions, it just took off, and it happened at night."
Canadian firefighters are handling the fire north of the border York says there are about 270 firefighters on the U.S. side. While 5,000 acres may sound like a large fire, this year's fires are much smaller than some of the blazes in 2017. Last year, the Lolo Peak fire near Missoula grew to over 53,000 acres.