Blog Cabin

Crews battling small fire in Garnet Mountains 

(GARRISON)-Further evidence it's getting dry out there.

The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) are working to extinguish a wildland fire located on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) ground in a Wildlife Study Area near Windy Rock Mountain in the Garnet Mountains.

Fifty-three personnel are cutting fire line around the 8 acre wildfire located in extremely rough terrain in beetle-kill timber. 

The fire was detected yesterday around 4pm and crews were there within two hours.  Engine crews from the DNRC and two DNRC initial attack helicopters were able to safely stop the fire Thursday night.  The Ridge Runners, a State Department of Corrections 20-person crew, worked on the fire throughout Thursday night and into Friday morning. The Flathead Hotshots and a six-person IA module from the Pintler Ranger District arrived later in the morning to help out. The crews are assisting three DNRC engine crews on the fire.

The cause remains unknown but more than likely the fire is a lightning holdover from a couple days ago.


Two men dead in Boulder River drowning

(BIG TIMBER)- The Sweetgrass County Sheriff's Department has recovered the bodies of two men who drowned when their raft flipped on the Boulder River Thursday.

The victims include a 73-year old Park County man, and a 60-year visitor from Washington, D.C. KTVQ is reporting the second body was found near a log jam, near the location where the raft overturned.

A woman was able to make it to shore and summoned help.(KTVQ photo)

The accident continues a string of drowning and water mishaps on area rivers, and controlled areas like swimming pools over the past couple of weeks, as Montanans seek relief from the hotter weather.


Montana authorities watching for missing kids

(MISSOULA)- Authorities across Montana are on the lookout this weekend for a Missoula man, and the 3 and 7-year old girls he kidnapped more than a month ago.

Matthew Chapman is believed to be traveling with his two daughters, whom he took from his estranged wife in a custody dispute.

It's known Chapman has contacts in Montana and Wyoming, and the new theory police are working is that the trio may be headed toward Glacier National Park, possible driving a 1990 Dodge Caravan. Law enforcement are warning he should be considered armed and dangerous.

KPAX TV has the latest on the story, including a description of the suspect and the two girls here.


Search for rafters underway near Big Timber

(BIG TIMBER)- What is turning out to be a tragic month for water safety in Montana took another bad turn Thursday when several people disappeared while rafting on the Boulder River near Big Timber.

Montana's News Station is reporting that searchers are combing the river today for two rafters who disappeared in the river after their raft overturned. A woman who was also in the raft made it to show and was able to summon help.



Helena man to answer charges for his son's drowning

(HELENA)- Prosecutors say a 26-year old Helena man was drunk when his son fell into a creek last month and believe he should answer to charges of negligent homicide.

Leo Mathis made his first appearance in a Helena courtroom yesterday since the boy's drowning.

Prosecutors say Mathis was intoxicated and distracted by a phone call while walking along the banks of Prickly Pear Creek, and didn't notice his 3-year old son had gotten into the flooding waters. They say when he did see him standing the in the water, he decided to try and walk across the creek but lost his footing and his hold on the boy.

Mathias will have to be back in court August 4th to answer to the charges.

More details on the story from the Helena Independent.