Winds fan Beeskove Fire near Missoula

Posted at 11:34 AM, Aug 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-03 13:35:44-04

MISSOULA — High winds from an approaching cold front fanned the Beeskove Fire near Missoula into a towering column of smoke Friday afternoon, alarming some people who thought it was a new fire burning much closer to the Rattlesnake neighborhoods.

The fire, which was sparked by a passing lightning storm last week, has been burning on more than 200 acres in the Upper Rattlesnake Creek on the Lolo National Forest.

Fire managers had expected the blaze to become more active afternoon with the approach of a cold front in the hot, dry weather, generating more winds blowing across the blaze, which is burning in rugged, steep terrain. The renewed column of smoke could be seen all across the Missoula Valley, and prompted more calls from people who worried the fire was a new blaze burning as close as Mount Jumbo.