New Wildfires After 42,000 Lightning Strikes Recorded - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

New Wildfires After 42,000 Lightning Strikes Recorded

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Fire officials say more than 42,000 lightning strikes were recorded across the Northern Rockies in a 36-hour period, sparking new wildfires in Montana and Idaho.

At least 1 of those strikes Monday resulted in a 2,000-acre wildfire in south-central Montana five miles north of Laurel. The Canyon Creek wildfire threatened 256 homes before the wind died and firefighters set up protection lines on the southern perimeter.

Northern Rockies Coordination Center meteorologist Bryan Henry says gusty winds Tuesday may stoke a 3,400-acre wildfire burning in rugged terrain east of Missoula before a cold front brings rain and cooler weather on Wednesday.

Henry says that same front will bring 40-mile-per-hour gusts to south-central Montana on Wednesday before more favorable conditions settle in across the state on Thursday.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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