The Stage 1 Evacuation Notification has been lifted for the upper Hughes Creek area near the Chrandal Creek forest fire.

The Type 2 Incident Management team will transition into a Type 3 team Tuesday as the crews work to complete containment of the 2,500 acre wildfire. It is now at about 75% contained.

The lines on the north, east and south sides of the fire remained contained through the weekend and full containment is expected sometime on August 3rd.

There are 316 personnel on the fire Monday, but that will be reduced to about 80 people by Tuesday evening and the fire camp at Coal Creek road will be removed, with the management of the fire moving to the West Fork Ranger Station.

Structure protection is being removed from homes in the Hughes Creek area and fire crews are continuing to work on the hot spots. They expect some torching of trees on the interior of the blaze this week.

Meanwhile, over 3,500 lightning strikes Friday and Saturday evenings have caused at least nine new forest fires on the Bitterroot National Forest. Firefighters, including 24 smokejumpers from Missoula and West Yellowstone, quickly responded to reports of smoke, mainly in the south end of Ravalli County. Most of the fires were on the Sula Ranger District - near Martin Creek and Moose Creek. They were Frog Pond, Compton, Boundary, Balmdale, Sign Creek and Moose Ridge.

One fire was report on the West Fork District - Razorback near Razorback Mountain. Two fires on the Darby Ranger District - Mosquito near Mosquito Meadows and Spring Gulch near Rye Creek.

Spokesman Tod McKay said most of the fires will be less than 2 acres in size when initial attack is completed.