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forest fires

forest fires

skalkaho road
Rocks and debris on the Skalkaho Highway this week. (USFS Photo)
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The Rain Helped – Sept 17

With Thursday's rain, not much movement from the Up Top Fire in the 41 Complex on the east side of the Bitterroot Valley in the Sapphire Mountains. Crews continued to work on the west side of the fire, working at least 100 feet inside the fire perimeter

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up top fire
Flames on the Up Top Fire on Sunday. (USFS Photo)
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Smokin’ – Sept 14

The smoke is making is hard for residents to see the fires surrounding the Bitterroot valley.
A couple of thunderstorm cells grew during the afternoon Wednesday over the Sapphire Mountains in the vicinity of the Fox Peak Fire and then moved off to the east

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up top 9 12
Flames from the Up Top Fire Sept 12 (USFS Photo)
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Work Continues on 41 Complex Fires – Sept 13

Crews continue to build fire lines on the northwest and southwest portions of the active Up Top Fire, part of the 41 Complex in the Sapphire Mountains, 10 miles east of Hamilton.
Fire traffic has increased on Hamilton Heights Road, as fire crews use that road as a quicker way to access the northwest corner of the fire

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gird lookout
Smoke from the Up Top Fire is near the Gird Point Lookout. USFS Photo)
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Smoke Increase from Fires – Sept 11

The amount of smoke increased from a couple of burnouts on the Up Top Fire, part of the 41 Complex forest fire in Sapphire Mountains east of Hamilton. The Up Top Fire has been creeping down into Saint Clair Creek and a second contingency fire line has been constructed on private lands to the west of the fire, which is almost 7,000 acres as of Sunday evening

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hot shots
KLYQ File Photo (USFS Photo)
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The Friday Fire Update – Sept 9

As of 7am Friday, the Up Top Fire in the 41 Complex was 5,634 acres. That fire is expected to continue to be active in the dry, hot days to come. The fire has moved south and west in the last 24 hours

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up top smoke
Where's the smoke coming from? From places like this in the Up Top Fire. (USFS Photo)
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Smoky Is Hazardous to your Health – Sept 8

The air quality in the Bitterroot Valley was "Unhealthy" Thursday Sept 8. The air is measured at a site in downtown Hamilton by the folks at Ravalli County Environmental Health. They expect the unhealthy levels will continue for at least another week, since the weather pattern shows no sign of changing

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uptop fire
The Up Top Fire (USFS Photo)
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41 Complex is Mainly “Up Top” – Sept 7

The 41 Complex of forest fires in the Sapphire Mountains east of Hamilton is mainly the Up Top Fire, which has now cross Skalkaho Highway on its way south. Of the total 3,700 acres, the Up Top Fire is 3,627 acres, while the 41 Fire is 105 acres and is 90 percent contained, according to Public Affairs Officer Tod McKay

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up top fire
There's a flame front along this edge of the Up Top Fire one of the larger forest fires in the 41 Complex. (USFS Photo)
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Where There’s Smoke… – Sept 6

The active 41 Complex of forest fires has grown again with an estimated size of 2,800 acres early Tuesday, Sept 6. and from the looks of the smoke column, we'll have a larger acreage total Wednesday

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41 complex
The 41 Complex forest fire and another much smaller lightning-caused fire September 5th at about 7pm. Photo taken from Bell Crossing, looking southeast. (KLYQ Photo)
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Skalkaho Pass Is Closed Due to Fire – Sept 5

Monday afternoon, the Montana Department of Highways closed Skalkaho Pass due to the 41 Complex forest fire, 10 miles east of Hamilton.
The fire, started by lightning in late August, is now at least 2,000 acres and put up a large column of smoke Monday

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41 complex
A view of the 41 Complex on the east side of the Bitterroot Valley in the Sapphire Mountains. (USFS Photo)
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Fires Begin to Heat Up Again – Sept 2

The winds were blowing and the temperature began to rise Friday in the Bitterroot Valley.
Fire managers watched their forest fires begin to come back to life by the afternoon. And with the forecast for temperatures back into the 90s by late next week, the chances of fire growth are good

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