Fire Season

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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Lolo Creek Complex
10:22 am
Tue August 20, 2013

4 Homes confirmed lost in the Lolo Creek Complex

Latest mapping
Credit Sally Mauk

Four homes are confirmed to have been lost in the 5000 acre Lolo Creek Complex fire.

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Lolo Creek complex
7:11 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Images from today's fire blowup west of Lolo

West Fork Two fire plume
Sally Mauk

Here are some images from the blowup of the West Fork Two and Schoolhouse fires into what's now called the "Lolo Creek Complex" burning along Highway 12 about 10 miles west of Lolo. The complex is now estimated to be 3500 acres in size, and some homes have been confirmed lost though no injuries have been reported. A Type 1 Incident Management team is en route to manage the fire.  Missoula County Disaster and Emergency Services has established a hotline for residents to get information - that number is 258-4636.

Schoolhouse Fire
10:08 am
Mon August 19, 2013

New lightning-caused fire south of Missoula grows to 250 acres

Schoolhouse fire burning between Lolo and Missoula Sunday night
Credit Sally Mauk

The lightning-caused Schoolhouse fire burning north and west of Lolo has grown to 250 acres. The fire is the largest of several new fires started by a lightning storm that moved through Saturday night. Smoke from this fire is visible in Missoula and it is one of two fires now burning in the Highway 12 corridor between the community of Lolo and Lolo Pass. The West Fork Two fire south of the highway is 60 acres. Information officer Cindy Super says none of the fires are currently threatening any structures.

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Fire Season
2:50 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Wildfire funding holding strong, but fire season is not over yet

Credit Sally Mauk

Montana’s State Forester Monday said the state’s wildfire suppression fund still has the vast majority of the funding provided to it by the 2013 Legislature.

"I think we're doing relatively well, certainly compared to last year," State Forester Bob Harrington said.

So far in 2013, the state is sitting at a little less than $2 million dollars in estimated fire costs, out of a wildfire suppression fund of about $20 million. 810 fires have been reported so far, burning 43,000 acres.

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Fire update
2:51 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Slow but steady progress on wildfires

Firefighters report significant progress on the Firestone Flats fire burning about 6 miles outside of Arlee.
       The fire started Saturday afternoon and within hours blew up into a 700 acre incident.
       Fire information officer, Cindy Super, says the crews will continue to work around the clock to build line around that fire.  If they continue to make progress and conditions hold,  pending evacuations will come to an end at 5:00 Thursday afternoon.

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Breaking
3:11 pm
Sun July 28, 2013

Latest update of the Jocko Canyon fire

Youpa Stein provided this wonderful shot of a helicopter working the Firestone Flats fire yesterday.
Credit Youpa Stein

Fire Information – Firestone Flats

Cause: Under Investigation

Detected: July 27, 2013

Location: Approximately 5 miles east northeast of Arlee, MT.

Size: 1,388 acres on Saturday, July 27 at 7:00 PM

Jurisdiction: Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes, Lake County Current Status: Today, Sunday, July 28th, the fire is listed at 0 percent containment. Fire activity was erratic and extreme yesterday resulting in multiple evacuations.

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Breaking
6:31 pm
Sat July 27, 2013

Jocko Canyon evacuations complete for now

Teams on the ground and in the air are working to beat down the as-of-yet officially unnamed Jocko Canyon area fire near Arlee. Lolo National Forest spokesman Boyd Hartwig tells us it stands at 700 acres with Lolo Hotshots on the ground. A single engine air tanker and heavy air tanker is working from above.  The Seeley Lake Ranger district will be closing the Forest Service portion of Jocko road for public safety. Scattered evacuations along Jocko Road are complete for the time being. 

Breaking
5:51 pm
Sat July 27, 2013

Jock Canyon fire update

Lake County Sheriff's department spokeswoman, Karen Sargent, says 18 homes have been evacuated as a result of the Jocko Canyon fire. None of them - at least to her knowledge - have been lost or damaged.  Also the fire has not yet been officially named. More updates as we get them....

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