Fire Season

Evac Order Lifted
9:29 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Evacuation order lifted and Highway 12 reopened

Highway 12 has been reopened to all traffic and the evacuation order for all residents along and off the highway has been lifted. Those residents however remain under an evacuation warning because of the nearby Lolo Creek Complex fire. There is a 45 mph speed limit from mile marker 20 to mile marker 32 on Highway 12 and motorists should be alert for fire traffic.

Poncin fire update
3:09 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

If progress continues, evacuees of the Lolo fire might get to go home sometime this weekend

Fire incident commander Greg Poncin
Credit Sally Mauk

Lolo Creek Complex fire incident commander Greg Poncin says crews are making excellent progress and if that continues over the next 24 hours, Highway 12 may reopen and evacuees may be allowed to return home - but not before tomorrow at the earliest.

In an extensive interview this afternoon with News Director Sally Mauk, Poncin said up to a tenth of an inch of rain fell on parts of the fire early this morning, and crews have made great progress.

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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

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