Fire on the Mountain!

Monday afternoon, August 22, a substantial fire broke out near the town of Bonner, Montana. Bonner is just a few miles from Missoula, and as it happens, I was dropping my son off at the University of Montana. As the fire lit up the evening sky, I decided to try to get as close as I could to the action.

Dubbed the West Riverside Fire by local authorities, the images below were taken on Tuesday, August 23, and Wednesday, August 24, 2011. A full gallery of images from the fire can be found at lodgetrail.com.

The West Riverside Fire burns uncontrolled near Bonner, Montana.
Air crews from the DNRC and U.S. Forest Service used large tanker aircraft to drop fire suppressing chemicals on the West Riverside fire near Bonner, Montana, on Tuesday afternoon.
Air crews from the DNRC and U.S. Forest Service used large tanker aircraft to drop fire suppressing chemicals on the West Riverside fire near Bonner, Montana, on Tuesday afternoon.
Firefighters from the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation mobilize to fight the West Riverside Fire near Bonner on Tuesday morning.
DNRC firefighters work on hot spots near Bonner, Montana on Tuesday morning
DNRC Engine Boss Ron Marks (second from right) strategizes with other firefighters to contain the West Riverside Fire. Marks was the first to call in the fire which began late Monday afternoon.
DNRC firefighters extinguish West Riverside Fire hot spots near Bonner on Tuesday morning.
DNRC and U.S. Forest Service helicopter crews used buckets of water dipped from the Blackfoot River to douse hot spots at the West Riverside fire near Bonner, Montana on Tuesday afternoon.
DNRC and U.S. Forest Service helicopter crews used buckets of water dipped from the Blackfoot River to douse hot spots at the West Riverside fire near Bonner, Montana on Tuesday afternoon.
Sunlight is filtered by smoke from the West Riverside Fire near Bonner, Montana on Wednesday.

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