The Cedar Fire, about 23 miles northwest of Hamilton in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, is now estimated at 324 acres, as of Monday morning, July 25. The fire growth has been slow, with almost no smoke seen by observers Saturday, according to Jeannette Dreadfulwater of the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests.

The fire is expected to continue to grow to the north in the Cedar Creek drainage. When the fire is active, as it was Sunday, smoke is visible from the Bitterroot Valley, Elk Summit road and the Powell Ranger Station in Idaho.

Forest Service trail #6 is closed due to the fire. The fire is currently not endangering any structures. Visitors to that area are asked to contact the Lochsa/Powell Ranger District for the latest information. The number is (208) 942-3113.

The Bitterroot National Forest moved to "High" fire danger last Friday and the conditions in the woods are near average for this time of year, according to Fire Management Officer Mark Wilson. Wilson, in a weekly report to the Ravalli County Commissioners, said that crews recently put out some hot spots in the Observation Fire, which is still smoldering in the steep, rocky mountainside north of Lost Horse Canyon.

Ravalli County Commissioners reminded the general public that open burning is NOT allowed, probably for the rest of the summer season, due to the continued hot, dry weather. Campfires are allowed, however.