Air Tankers Join Battle at Observation Forest Fire
In the fight against the flames of the Bitterroot National Forest's Observation Fire, air tankers made six drops of retardant Tuesday evening after the fire doubled in size to over 600 acres on the north edge of Lost Horse Canyon.
The tankers were working in conjunction with several helicopters to try to minimize the spread of the fire north and west. Record breaking temperatures and wind caused the fire to burn aggressively, and firefighters were temporarily pulled off the firelines.
Stage 1 evacuation warnings have gone out with the help of the Ravalli County Sheriff's Office. Undersheriff Steve Holton said the Stage 1 level is a warning that an evacuation might happen and that residents should be prepared. Officers went door-to-door Tuesday evening in the area west of Highway 93 between Lost Horse and Gold Creek Loop.
Dixie Dies of the Bitterroot National Forest said a Northern Rockies Type 1 fire team with Incident Commander Doug Turman will take over management of the fire Friday morning.
Como Lake is still open, but visitors should be aware of heavy fire traffic in the Charlos Heights and Lost Horse areas.