90 Miles From Tyranny : Bird and snake caused 40-acre fire near Great Falls, Montana

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Bird and snake caused 40-acre fire near Great Falls, Montana


GREAT FALLS - A wildland fire that burned an estimated 40 acres near Great Falls on Wednesday morning was caused by a hawk and a snake.

The fire was reported at about 10:20 a.m. near 3500 Rainbow Dam Road.

The area is north of the Missouri River and east of Black Eagle, near the dirt-track racing facility.

There were no injuries.

No buildings were burned, but several utility poles were damaged.

The Black Eagle Volunteer Fire Department says that their investigation determined that a bird - likely a hawk - swooped down to grab a snake.

As the snake struggled to break free, it smacked into a nearby powerline, which then sparked, sending a current through the snake and the hawk, killing them both.

Sparks then flew to the bone-dry ground, which triggered the fire.

Fire crews from Ulm, Sand Coulee, Vaughn, MT Air National Guard, Malmstrom AFB and Great Falls provided mutual aid in fighting the fire.

NorthWestern Energy and the Cascade County Sheriff's Office also responded to the scene.



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