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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
Wolf Hunting
9:03 am
Wed August 21, 2013

'Wolf Hunt Sabotage Manual' circulated by environmental group

The environmental organization Earth First began circulating a guidebook on how to sabotage the hunting of wolves last week.

The online guide lays out steps for destroying wolf traps, releasing trapped wolves and disrupting wolf hunts through methods such as smoke bombs and air horns. It asserts states, the NRA, and the Obama Administration are engaging in a conspiracy to wipe wolves off the face of the planet.

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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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Residents Fire Reax
3:44 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Residents nervously watch progress of the Lolo Creek Complex fire

Sleeman Road residents gather to share updates about the fire with their neighbors
Credit Sally Mauk

Residents of Sleeman Gulch, a few miles east of the Lolo Creek Complex fire off Highway 12, have been placed on pre-evacuation notice - meaning they need to be ready to leave on the spur of the moment. Sleeman road is a one-way-in, one-way-out gravel road.

Kirk Derby lives near the end of the road, in a house he and his wife just bought a year ago. Last night they left to wait out the fire in town, but returned today to clear more stuff from their house.

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Planned Parenthood
1:20 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Planned Parenthood of Montana's new president and CEO

Planned Parenthood of Montana's Martha Stahl
Credit Edward O'Brien

Planned Parenthood of Montana's new President and C-E-O, Martha Stahl, says she's a natural fit for the organization.

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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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Education
11:07 am
Tue August 20, 2013

State expanding early childhood education pilot program

Caregiver Amanda Hatch plays with two-year-old Maya at her day care center Katerpillar Korner in Helena.
Credit Dan Boyce

Governor Steve Bullock is looking to put more focus into early childhood education—that is, education before a kid is five years old. Bullock said Montana ranks near the bottom of states in investment in early ed.

However, state spending did increase this past legislative session by nearly $2 and a half million dollars.

Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce says that money will go toward increasing a ranking program for day-care centers called the Best Beginnings Stars to Quality Program.

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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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