An impressive array of wildfire and forest experts explained to Montana Senator Steve Daines about the intricacies of the Beeskove Fire, now burning in the Rattlesnake Recreation Area and beyond.

Fire Information Officer Glenda Scott related the vital statistics of the fire that started with a lightning strike on July 23.

“Its 429 acres and it has cost just over $6 million to fight,” said Scott. “The growth of the fire is staying in that area just east on the slope south and east of the ignition point, which is between Beeskove Creek on the south facing ridge above the Rattlesnake, so it is not moving toward the Rattlesnake community.”

Senator Daines said he was impressed by the interagency cooperation on display during the briefing he received at the fire camp on Butler Creek Road.

“To see first hand the great cooperation between the Forest Service at the federal level, the county, state and local officials, we’ve got excellent leadership working together,” said Daines. “Consequently that, combined with the fact that we’ve gotten a couple of breaks from the weather with the rains we had a few days ago, means that this fire that could have been a catastrophic wildfire, looks like now its going to be contained and the forecast looks very good. We’re grateful for this team and the amazing technology to better fight these fires.”

Daines said the transition to downgrade the fire’s status is underway.

“Looks like we’re going to drop this from a Type II fire to a Type III fire this Friday night,” he said. “That’s good news, but we had two breaks. One was the weather and two was the excellent team working on this fire. They also put in additional fire lines for this fire that will also help us for possible future fires, so the investment made in this fire I think will reap benefits for years to come and make sure to protect this area for years to come.”

Others on hand at the briefing included Missoula County Sheriff T.J. McDermott, County Commissioner Dave Strohmaier and Director of Emergency Management Adriane Beck.

More From KMMS-KPRK 1450 AM