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.
"And with any luck, we're going to be able to get that [northeastern] fire edge controlled within the next 24 hours," said Poncin. " And at that point, we're going to be working with the Montana Department of Transportation, and the Missoula County sheriff's office. and the highway patrol to determine the best time to open [highway 12] back up. We're trying to get homeowners back in as quickly as we can."
You can hear the full interview tonight at 5:30 during Montana Evening Edition.