Fire Season

Fire photos
9:30 am
Fri August 23, 2013

More images of the Lolo Creek fire's destruction - and the hardworking firefighters

Brick patio and chimneys all that are left of Mike Amidi's home along Highway 12
Sally Mauk

Cooler temperatures and some rain showers (!)  are helping firefighters corral the Lolo Creek Complex fire, which was 30 percent contained as of this morning. Over 650 firefighters from around the country are now working the fire that has destroyed five homes, displaced hundreds of residents, and closed Highway 12 from Lolo to Graves Creek. Here are some of the images of the fire's destruction, and the firefighters working hard to keep it from doing more.....

Lolo Creek Complex
2:35 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

After the firestorm...

Scorched hillside
Sally Mauk

MTPR News Director Sally Mauk was given a tour of the Lolo Creek Complex today.  Here are  few shots she's sent back to us...

Lolo Complex
1:12 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Tonight's Lolo Fire Complex Meeting...

North Carolina firefighters doing structure protection work along Highway 12 this afternoon, keeping their eyes on that fire up the slope.
Credit Sally Mauk

At Lolo Elementary School lower gymnasium at 8 pm.

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Highway 12
12:00 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

US 12 Road Closure update

From the Montana Department of Transportation, this is an alert for travelers on US-12 south of Missoula between Lolo and the Idaho State Line on Thursday August 22, 2013 at 11:00 am

The road is closed from Graves Creek at milepost 16 to the junction with US 93 at Lolo due to wildfires. The duration of the closure is unknown at this time.

Fire officials
10:27 am
Thu August 22, 2013

The people in charge of the Lolo Creek fire

Incident commander Greg Poncin briefing Senator Tester and Governor Bullock
Sally Mauk

The Type One Incident Command team now in charge of the Lolo Creek Complex fire are the best in the business - assigned to only the top priority fires in the country. Yesterday they briefed Governor Steve Bullock and Senator Jon Tester on their plan of attack, which includes contingency plans for burnouts if the fire continues its push toward homes in Sleeman Gulch and the town of Lolo. They're hoping the weather - and heavy retardant drops on the eastern flank of the fire - will make those burnouts unnecessary.

Fire Update
11:50 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Another challenging day on the Lolo Creek Complex fire

Lolo Creek Complex fire blowing up Tuesday evening
Sally Mauk

The Lolo Creek Complex fire took another explosive run Tuesday evening, growing to 8000 acres and within two and a half miles of Sleeman Creek. Dozens of residents remain evacuated, and a Type One Incident Command team took over management of the fire today. Greg Poncin is the team's leader. He says the forecast of more hot, dry temperatures and afternoon winds makes the next two to three days a critical period and "a hard-fought battle" ahead for firefighters.

Lolo Creek Complex
9:54 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Lolo Complex Fire Perimeter Map

Updated fire perimeter map
Credit Sally Mauk

The fire's eastern edge is about 2-and-a-half miles west of Sleeman Creek:

Lolo Creek Complex
9:46 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Fire camp growing next to Lolo Community Center...

Credit Sally Mauk
fire Evacuations
7:30 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

More evacuations ordered as Lolo Creek Complex fire grows

Lolo area residents gather for a public meeting in the Lolo school gym this evening to get updated on the Lolo Creek Complex fire
Credit Sally Mauk

Residents of Sleeman Creek road off Highway 12 were ordered to evacuate this evening as shifting winds pushed the Lolo Creek Complex fire further east and past a "flash point" where officials deem it is unsafe for residents to remain in their homes. The fire is currently moving towards highway 12 again just west of Mill Creek. The evacuation order came right after a public meeting was held this evening to brief residents on the fire's expansion to 8000 acres.

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Highway closure
1:06 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Highway 12 remains closed for now

This just released from the Lolo Creek Complex public information officers:

  Incident commanders have evaluated opening Highway 12 to escort traffic through and into the fire area and determined there are still too many hazards in the area of the Lolo Creek Complex. The decision will be evaluated again at 5pm. Safety of the public and firefighters continues to be the top priority.

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