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wildfires

gold pan map
The closure area of the forest around the Gold Pan Complex. (Bitterroot National Forest/USFS image)
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Gold Pan Closure Area Reduced

More access for the public is the reason for a condensed closure around the Gold Pan Complex of forest fires in the West Fork Ranger District.

Bitterroot National Forest Supervisor Julie King signed the order this week, which moves the boundary back to the Hells Half Road on the Magruder Corridor (see map)

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gold pan fire
Gold Pan fire in July. (USFS Photo)
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Stage 1 Fire Rules Relaxed

Starting Friday, September 13, Stage 1 fire restrictions will be rescinded in west central Montana - including the Bitterroot National Forest. However, the restrictions will remain in force on tribal lands along the Flathead River

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UM Forestry 1
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University of Montana School of Forestry Celebrates 100th Anniversary [AUDIO]

On September 8, 1914, the University of Montana School of Forestry opened with 25 students and one degree program. It has since grown to offer five undergraduate degrees, four academic minors, and three doctoral programs serving nearly 1,000 students.

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Lolo Creek Complex
Photo by Peter Christian
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Flash Flood Watch for Lolo Creek Complex Area

The National Weather Service has called for a flash flood watch in the area of the Lolo Creek Complex fires due to rain and thunderstorms moving into Western Montana.

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Grass Fire
Photo by Peter Christian
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Updated – Grass Fire Started by Lightning Hitting Power Line [AUDIO]

UPDATE - Saturday, August 31, 10:30 a.m.

According to a news release from the Missoula City Fire Department, the grass fire Friday night was caused by a lightning strike that struck a Northwest Energy power line. It appears that the lightning struck a cross member near the top of the pole and caught fire, dropping embers to the ground, catching the grass on fire.

The fire is estimated to be about 80 acres in size, and was 100% contained, however, crews will remain on the scene throughout the day to mop up any hot spots.

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blue mtn lookout
The crew wraps the Blue Mountain Lookout as a precaution. (USFS Photo)
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Lolo Complex is 60 Percent Contained, Public Meeting August 27

The Lolo complex of fires is now 60 percent contained, according to Information Officer Tom Kempton. The public can hear the latest on the fire fighting at a meeting Tuesday, August 27, at 7 p.m. at the Lolo Elementary School

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Clearing snags at Gold Pan Fire
Clearing snags from the roadway at the Gold Pan Complex. (USFS Photo)
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Gold Pan Complex of Forest Fires Continues Slow Growth

The Gold Pan Complex of fires in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness is an estimated 35,000 acres in size, with the two major fires being the Gold Pan at 34,000 and Nez Peak at about 1,000 acres

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Gold Pan map detail August 22
The Nez Peak Fire of the Gold Pan Complex has come into the Blue Joint drainage. This map is from August 22. (USFS map)
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Gold Pan Complex Forest Fire Invades Montana

The Gold Pan Complex of fires includes the Gold Pan fire, the Thirteen fire, the Goat fire and the Nez Peak fire.

The Gold Pan Complex has burned down into the upper Blue Joint drainage in Montana in the West Fork Ranger District of the Bitterroot National Forest (see photo)

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Photo courtesy of DanDawson/Flickr
Photo courtesy of DanDawson/Flickr
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The Rock Creek Fire – Montana’s Second Priority Blaze

While the Lolo Creek Complex fire has garnered the most attention over the past week, the Rock Creek fire near Red Lodge is Montana's second highest priority.

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Lake Fire
The August 18 view from air of the Lake Fire. (USFS Photo)
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New Fire in Frank Church Wilderness Adds More Smoke

Six fires in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness comprise the over 4,000 acre Lake Complex, which is west of the much larger 29,000 acre Gold Pan Complex.

The Lake Complex has two major fires - the Lake Fire, which was spotted August 14 and is now at least 3,300 acres and the Center Fire, which is over 1,100 acres

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