The 1,429 acre Observation forest fire 10 miles southwest of Hamilton is now 50 percent contained, according to a Saturday report from Doug Turman's Northern Region Incident Management Team.

And, as of July 9, the number of people assigned to the fire has decreased for the first time since the team took over. There are now 532 people on the fire which is mainly north of Lost Horse Canyon.

The fire is creeping and smoldering in the higher humidities and lower temperatures in the Bitterroot Valley. Mop-up is happening on the east and south sides of the fire and crews continue to buld fire lines and put out hot spots on the north and west sides. Helicopters continue to drop water and retardant on the hot spots in the rocky, inaccessible mountainside.

Lost Horse Road and Lick Creek Roads remain closed to allow fire traffic.