Fire crews are fighting - and mopping up after, respectively - two new fires on the Lolo National Forest. Forest spokesman Boyd Hartwig says one is called the Fire Creek Fire. That's a lightning caused fire approximately three miles northwest of the Stark Lookout and 22 miles northwest of Missoula on the Ninemile Ranger District. As of 6:30 this evening, the fire was two acres and burning in thick, downed vegetation. The location is remote and no structures are threatened. Fire behavior has been active, with single tree torching. Helicopter bucket work has helped reduce fire spread. Current resources on scene are: Two helicopters, one 20 person crew, one engine and one Single Engine Tanker (SEAT). Firefighters will remain on scene tonight and continue suppression efforts tomorrow.
Crews hustled to snuff the Hawk Lane Fire earlier this afternoon. That fire in the Schwartz Creek area near Clinton has been contained. A multi-agency response kept this fire to approximately three aces. Firefighters from the Lolo NF and Missoula Rural are on scene and are continuing to mop up. The cause of this fire, which had potential to immediately threaten several structures, is under investigation.