The Chrandal Creek Forest Fire is now 1,700 acres.

About 25 homes in the upper Hughes Creek Area, where Chrandal Creek flows into Hughes Creek, have been put on Stage I evacuation alert by the Ravalli County Sheriff's Office. Crews are also looking at possible structure protection in that part of the forest.

The fire is burning in forest that has been extensively damaged by the Mountain Pine Beetle. About 40-60 percent of the trees have been killed by the beetles.

The Chrandal Creek Fire is gained about 400 acres to the north and east Thursday afternoon with temperatures in the 90s and low humidity - about 16 percent. The fire is about 5 miles east of  last summer's Saddle Complex Fire. The historic Alta Ranger Station is being wrapped for the second year in a row by firefighters.

The forest fire, which started a week ago on the Bitterroot National Forest with a lightning strike, has been moving along the Montana/Idaho divide with trees torching and some spotting into Idaho's Salmon-Challis National Forest. On the north, it's been backing down toward Chrandal Creek and Road 5793.

Fire crews are also removing brush along Hughes Creek Road to remove blind spots and allow firefighter access. Over 230 people are on the fire. The fire is 42 miles south of Darby and about 12 miles southwest of Lost Trail Ski Area.