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Machinery sparked fire north of Whitefish Lake

| July 31, 2023 8:00 AM

A heavy aerial and ground attack kept a wildfire near homes on the north end of Whitefish Lake in check over the weekend.

Fire managers with the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation said the human-caused fire was sparked by equipment in a dry hayfield north of Delrey Road and spread into forested areas of the Stillwater State Forest.

The North Lake Fire had burned 5 total acres, but spot fires encompassed a 17-acre perimeter. It was 15% contained on Sunday.

It was first detected and reported by the Warner Peak Lookout.

Aerial support was dispatched Saturday at 1 p.m., and included Type 1, 2 and 3 helicopters. Five engines, two water tenders, a hand crew and hotshot crew also assisted.

Fire managers said the main fire was knocked down Saturday, but numerous spot fires were being reported and monitored.

Structures and homes are within the vicinity of the fire, but no evacuations were issued as of Sunday.