Sally Mauk

News Director Emeritus

Retired in 2014 but still a presence at MTPR, Sally Mauk is a University of Kansas graduate and former wilderness ranger who has reported on everything from the legislature to forest fires. She also taught broadcast writing and reporting in the University of Montana journalism school.

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Fire Update
11:12 am
Sun August 25, 2013

BPA powerline a concern near Lolo Creek fire

Putting out hot spots along Highway 12
Credit Sally Mauk

Firefighters on the ground and from the air continue to wage what they're calling "a slugfest" on the north edge of the Lolo Creek Complex fire.

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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.....

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
9:46 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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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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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.

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