High wind took two forest fires to new heights on the north and south sides of US Highway 12 west of Lolo. The School House fire on the north and the West Fork 2 fire on the south created a huge column of smoke by 3 p.m. Monday, August 19.

Shortly after 3 p.m., Highway 12 was closed from Lolo, Montana, to the Montana-Idaho border. Some local traffic was being allowed. fire officials said that evacuations were being proposed and fire departments from the Bitterroot Valley and Missoula County were responding.