Lightning storms spark fires


Firefighters had their hands full Wednesday after a series of lightning storms ignited a number of fires across north-central Montana.

A large wildland fire in southern Blaine County claimed 1,500 acres, Blaine County Commissioner Art Kleinjan said today.

Lightning ignited pine trees in an area east of the Lloyd Road about 40 miles south of Chinook, he said. Rural firefighters, including Kleinjan, responded to the fire about 11 a.m., he said.

No structures burned.

The fire quickly gained ground, and volunteer crews were joined by crews from the Montana Department of State Lands and the U.S....

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