DNRC responds to wildfires near Lincoln, Missoula
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: June 27, 2024

Photo credit: Sturdy Boy Fire, photo credit to Rachel Simpson, Missoula Interagency Dispatch Center.

The Ashby Lane Fire east of Lincoln, MT is approximately 1.5 acres in size and burning in a mixture of grass,
shrub, and timber on private property 0.3 miles north of Montana Highway 200 at mile marker 76, west of Ashby
Drive. Reported at 1:30 pm on Wednesday, June 26, the fire cause is still to be determined, but no lightning was
detected in the area. Under DNRC fire protection responsibility, initial firefighter response included two engines
and two water tenders from Lincoln Volunteer Fire Rescue, one engine and two chase trucks from the Helena –
Lewis & Clark National Forest’s Lincoln Ranger District, and three engines and one chase truck from the DNRC
Clearwater Unit. One Type 2 (medium) DNRC helicopter and one Type 3 (light) helicopter supported suppression
efforts with bucket drops. Resources were able to stop the forward progress of the Fire by 5:15 pm Wednesday
evening and resources remained on scene until 11:30 pm. There are structures in the area, but none were
harmed or are currently threatened. DNRC firefighters will “mop up” today, feeling for and extinguishing all heat
sources to ensure that the fire is completely extinguished, and they will also strategically search, or “grid” the
area to make sure there are no spot fires. They hope to have the fire fully contained and controlled by this
afternoon. Engine patrols will then monitor the Fire periodically as necessary.
Sturdy Boy Fire
Location: North of Dark Horse Lane, Missoula.
Start Date: 6/26/2024 Cause: Lightning Size: 0.1 acres Containment: 100%
Resources: DNRC, MFD Engines: 4
The Sturdy Boy Fire, located north of Dark Horse Lane in Missoula between Grant Creek and Butler Creek
drainages, is approximately 0.1 acres in size and was caused by a lightning strike to a single, very large Ponderosa
pine tree. Initial response by City of Missoula Fire Department firefighters with support from two DNRC Missoula
Unit engine crews contained the fire to the tree and the surrounding pine needle cast. Reported at 7 pm on
Wednesday, June 26, the Fire put up a column of smoke visible to many Missoula residents but is fully contained
and controlled at this time. Under DNRC fire protection responsibility, total responding resources included two
City of Missoula Fire Department engines and two DNRC Missoula Unit engines. There are no threats to
structures or concerns at this time. DNRC engine patrols will monitor the Fire periodically as necessary.
Both fires herald the fact that fire season is here, and as our vegetation continues to dry out and we increasingly
enjoy our outdoors, it is critical that we all do our part to prevent wildfire sparks. We cannot control the
lightning, but 70% of wildfires in the Missoula area are human caused…and those are 100% preventable! Please
have a fun and safe 4th of July and remember to prevent sparks and call 9-1-1 to report wildfires.

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