A Wednesday afternoon thunderstorm started two small forest fires in the Bitterroot National Forest. Crews put out the fires, which were north of Blodgett Canyon on the west side of the valley. Residents saw smoke from the first fire above Pinesdale early Thursday morning and called 911. As crews responded to that single snag blaze (photo below), they discovered another lightning-caused fire along Churn Creek near Running Bear Road. Both fires were less than a tenth of an acre. Crews this year have responded to 4 lightning wildfires and 3 human-caused fires in the Bitterroot National Forest. Always, if you have a campfire, make sure it is out and the coals are cold to the touch before you leave your campsite.

Lightning was here. (Bitterroot National Forest photo)