8 fires in 8 days
Scorching temperatures during the past several days combined with lightning, fireworks, a downed power line and a blown vehicle transmission to spark at least eight fires in an 8-day time period.
Trouble started on July 4 when lightning was believed to have started a small structure fire at 12:57 a.m. on South Grove Creek Road in Fishtail.
July 5 started with a vehicle fire at noon on I-90 near Columbus that spread to the median. At 4:08 p.m., Absarokee fire crews responded to a structure fire that was possibly caused by fireworks, according to the Stillwater County Sheriff’s dispatch records. On the same day, at 5:44 p.m., a downed power line from a windstorm sparked a 20-acre fire on Huntley Butte Road, drawing a response from Columbus Fire Rescue, Absarokee and Park City crews.
The county’s burn permit system was shut down until further notice and Stage 1 fire restrictions were put into effect as of 12:01 a.m. July 7.
On July 8, Molt fire crews scrambled to a 20-acre grass fire at 5:46 p.m. and at 7:19 p.m., lightning struck a tree at Itch-Kep-Pe Park, causing substantial damage to the tree.
And on Friday, July 9, Columbus Fire Rescue was called to a small brush fire off Joliet Road at 12:11 p.m. At 3 p.m., Nye fire crews responded to a 2-acre blaze in the Trout Creek area believed to have started by lighting.