Missoula fire crews douse, investigate Rattlesnake neighborhood wildfire

A wildfire burned roughly two acres off Duncan Drive in the Rattlesnake neighborhood on Monday night. (Courtesy photo)

Firefighters responded in force to a fast-moving and highly visible wildfire in the Rattlesnake neighborhood late Monday night, and tamped down the blaze before it spread to nearby homes.

Randy Thorpe, acting battalion chief for the Missoula Fire Department, said the incident was initially reported at 8:48 p.m. and drew a large response.

MFD dispatched four engine companies to the scene, where they found a wind-driven grass fire burning mid-slope above Duncan Drive.

Thorpe said the fire was moving south and west.

“Missoula dispatch was informed and requested to send available resources for assistance,” Thorpe said. “Initial attack was focused on quick attack in order to remove the potential for large fire growth.”

Thorpe said the fire was contained within an hour, though mop-up of the interior continued for the next few hours. One engine patrolled the fire throughout the night.

Two additional engines from Missoula Rural Fire Department and a water tender from the Montana Department of Natural Resources also provided assistance.

Thorpe said the fire burned roughly two acres and is currently under investigation. No lightning had been reported in the area.

Witnesses said the fire started off Duncan Drive and Mountain View, not far from the PEAS Farm on a grassy slope. Flames made an uphill run and encroached on a stand of trees.

Fire crews were able to contain the blaze as night fell.

Further questions should be directed to the Missoula Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Bureau during regular business hours at 552-6210.