A wildfire near the Beartooth Wildlife Management Area has led Fish, Wildlife and Parks on Wednesday to close the popular area over a concern for public safety.
A lightening strike Tuesday evening started a fire near the WMA’s entrance that by Wednesday afternoon had grown to nearly 1,300 acres, state wildlife officials said.
State and local firefighters were quickly on the scene Tuesday and closed the lone public road into WMA, which lies between Great Falls and Helena along Holter Lake.
The fire has mostly burned grass and scattered timber.
FWP officials have decided to close the Beartooth WMA to public use because of continued dry conditions, a forecast of additional weather fronts that may bring more lightning, high winds and high temperatures, and the threat of hot spots being fanned by high winds.
For details on drought and fire closures and restrictions, go to the FWP website at fwp.mt.gov, then click "Drought & Fire Updates".