4:45 p.m.: A wildfire burning 8 miles east of Polson has resulted in structure losses and evacuations on the East Side of Flathead Lake. Lake County issued a mandatory evacuation notice for the Finley point area early Sunday morning. The evacuation area also includes the section of highway 35 from mile marker 6 through mile marker 13. Entry to Finley Point was closed as of 2 p.m. with predicted high winds in the area.
Montana’s hot, bone-dry weather this summer has been anything but ”juicy,” but that may be about to change.That’s the word National Weather Service-Missoula forecasters used this week to characterize weather expected to bring wetting rains to north-central Idaho and western Montana starting Sunday.
Gov. Greg Gianforte joined six other western governors Friday in a meeting with President Joe Biden to talk about wildfires. Thousands of acres are burning across the state of Montana amid a severe drought and high temperatures.
A trillion-dollar infrastructure package backed by Montana’s senior senator took a step forward Thursday. The deal has bipartisan support but still faces hurdles.After a procedural vote, the infrastructure deal is headed to the Senate floor for debate.
About one-third of Montana counties fall under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for fully vaccinated people to wear masks in public indoor places because of substantial or high transmission of COVID-19.
Montana school officials are grappling with new mask guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as COVID-19 cases rise ahead of the first day of classes. The state’s superintendent of public instruction is advocating for personal choice while public health experts push for mandates.
The Department of Veterans Affairs Monday became the nation’s first major federal agency to require health care workers to get COVID-19 vaccines. Montana VA officials are now carefully reviewing the new mandate that applies to about 500 workers in the state.
Polson officials say residents are pitching in to conserve water. City Manager Ed Meece says water service was restored Monday night to all 60 homes that lost service Monday morning due to low supplies and high demand.
The City of Polson has declared a water emergency, and is the latest Montana community to implement temporary water restrictions. Water to 60 homes in the city was shut off Monday as the region faces extraordinary demand and low supply.
Montana officials are recommending that $22 million in federal stimulus money go toward disability services, COVID-19 screening at schools and programs to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
Evacuation orders are in effect for Belt Park in Cascade County, and evacuation warnings are in effect for areas near Troy and Thompson Falls. In central Montana, five firefighters were injured Thursday afternoon while battling a lightning-caused fire.
Public health officials in Helena are urging parents to schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments for their teens before school starts. State education officials say parents know what’s best for their kids.
New restrictions on campfires or smoking on public lands start Monday in parts of NW Montana. The Stage II restrictions come as the state faces a severe drought, more hot weather ahead and firefighting resources stretched thin.