Wildfires close 2 scenic Montana highways

Missoula, MT - Wildfires have closed two of Montana's most scenic highways this week.

U.S. Highway 12 from Lolo to the Idaho border has been closed since Monday because of two wildfires burning near the roadway.

U.S. Highway 212, the route that connects Red Lodge and Yellowstone National Park via 10,947-foot Beartooth Pass, has been shut down because of the Rock Creek Fire.

Highway 12 is an important route for commerce and travel. The Missoulian reports about 1,000 vehicles travel over Lolo Pass each day.

Some eastbound traffic is being diverted, but fire information officer Mike Cole said Thursday a lot of truck traffic and tourists are waiting at the pass for the roadway to reopen.

The Billings Gazette reports Highway 212 travelers are being redirected to the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway.