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Smoky missoula
Photo courtesy of jen-the-librarian/Flickr
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Highway 12 Closed – Homes Evacuated Due to Rapid Growth of Schoolhouse and West Fork 2 Fires [AUDIO]

UPDATE 4:15 p.m. Monday, August 19

Mandatory evacuations are in effect in the Bear Creek area as two fires, the School House and the West Fork 2, are combining to burn hundreds of acres and send smoke billowing up over Blue Mountain raining ash on homes in Lolo and into Missoula.

Missoula County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer paige Pavalone said at about 4 p.m. Monday, that deputies were contacting residents in the path of the fires to leave their homes immediately.

"We're asking people if they're asked by a deputy to evacuate, to leave their homes right away, recover their animals and leave as quickly as possible," Pavalone said.

The Missoula County Sheriff's Office Facebook page has a minute-by-minute update of areas that are under evacuation. Just moments ago, the notice was posted that Bear Creek, Elk Meadows, Lolo Creek Campground, Sleeman Creek and Thayer Road have been advised to evacuate, and that the Lolo Elementary School has been opened as a place for evacuees to gather.

There will be a special meeting for residents in the area at the Travelers' Rest State Park at 6 p.m. Monday.
Paige Pavalone

The smoke billowing above Missoula on Monday, August 19 comes mostly from the Schoolhouse Fire, currently burning about nine miles west of Lolo.

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Category: Local News Tags: , ,
burning slash along Magruder Road
Fire crews burning slash near the Deep Creek Campground along Magruder Road. (USFS Photo)
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Gold Pan Complex Forest Fire is Burning Slowly – Bass Creek Logging

With the Gold Pan Complex growing only about 20 acres Wednesday, the fire crews were able to conduct some burnouts and get rid of slash piles created when they removed hazardous snags from high winds last week

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weather balloon at Gold Pan Fire
Phillip Manuel Gold Pan Fire meteorologisst (left) and Tim Sedlock of the National Weather Service prepare a weather balloon. (USFS Photo)
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Gold Pan Fire Meteorologists Use Weather Balloon

With a Red Flag warning issued by the National Weather Service, more information was needed on the Gold Pan forest fire in the Frank Church Wilderness. Officials looked to the sky.

Friday, a helium-filled weather balloon with a three-pound instrument package was launched from the Incident Command Post on the West Fork Ranger District of the Bitterroot National Forest

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burned trees
Burned trees along the Magruder Corridor. (USFS Photo)
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Gold Pan and Moose Meadows Forest Fire Update – August 7

Firefighters have had opportunities to prepare for movement of the Gold Pan Forest Fire in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.

The 16,000 acre fire in the West Fork Ranger District of the Bitterroot National Forest has stayed in the wilderness area so far, but crews have built over 25 miles of fireline as a contingency to the east of the fire between the wilderness and Painted Rocks Reservoir

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forest service excavator fireline
Excavator Clearing Understory Vegetation Forest Road No.1303 (USFS Photo)
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Forest Fire Update – Gold Pan and Moose Meadows – August 5

The fire crews at the Gold Pan and Moose Meadows forest fires are reporting increased burning as the forest dries out, following last week's rain showers.

The 3,500 acre Moose Meadows Fire is now 60 percent contained and there are no structures threatened at this time

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campfire
(KLYQ Image)
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Stage 1 Fire Restrictions Limit Campfires to These Places on Bitterroot Forest

Even with the occasional rain shower, Western Montana is under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions due to the dry, hot weather and the increasing fire danger.

Those wanting to gather around a campfire to sing songs or tell ghost stories need to look for an improved Bitterroot National Forest campground with an approved concrete or steel campfire ring

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gold pan sprinklers
Sprinklers to help protect Magruder Ranger Station structures are dipping into the Selway River. (USFS Photo)
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Moose Meadows and Gold Pan Forest Fires Grow – Update July 30

The Gold Pan Forest Fire in the Frank Church Wilderness at the south end of the valley increased about 2,000 acres Monday and is now estimated at 13,335 acres, moving toward Pole Mountain. Early Tuesday m

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gold pan fire 722
The Gold Pan Fire near Magruder Corridor. (USFS Photo)
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Gold Pan Fire in Wilderness Sends Smoke into Bitterroot Valley

The Gold Pan Fire in the Frank Church Wilderness grew to about 2,000 acres over the weekend and sent a large column of smoke into the air and over the south end of the Bitterroot Valley.

Tod McKay of the Bitterroot National Forest said the fire is burning about 3 miles east of the Salmon Mountain Lookout on the West Fork Ranger District

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Wildfire
Photo by Michael Bocchieri/Getty Images
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The Million Dollar Campfire – State Laws Require Responsible Party to Pay Fire Costs [AUDIO]

Wildfire season has begun in Western Montana, with the West Mullan fire threatening Superior and the Gold Creek fire burning just east of Missoula. The Gold Creek fire was lightning-caused, however, the investigation continues as to how the West Mullan fire started.

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Category: Montana News Tags:

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