Wilderness Fire Update and National Guard Coming to Lolo Fire
The smoke pouring into Hamilton daily is mainly from the Chute Creek fire, whichis about a mile and half from Blodgett Lake. The 1,399 acre fire is just one of the smoke producers in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness.
Here's a brief rundown on the other major wilderness fires from the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest::
The Hidden Fire, north of the Chute Creek Fire, has remained at about 4,624 acres.
The Moose 1 Fire, near Moose Creek Ranger Station, is now at 10,393 acres.
The Lone Pine Fire, west of Moose 1 on the Selway, has burned 5,967 acres.
The Rattlesnake Point Fire, in the Frank Church Wilderness is 4,407 acres and burning to the east, generally.
The Lolo Peak Fire has caused more evacuations west of Florence, according to Ravalli County Sheriff Steve Holton. The new areas are west of Florence-Carlton Loop, from Holloway Lane to Tie Chute Lane.
Holton reminds the public that no traffic is allowed in evacuated areas. You will be cited if you attempt to do so.
The Montana National Guard is sending 155 soldiers to the Lolo Peak Fire. Bravo Company, 1-163rd Combined Arms Battalion and the 631st Chemical Company, based in Missoula, were activated and will arrive at the fire Saturday, August 19, to staff 35 security checkpoints.
A National Guard helicopter will start fire operations in Missoula Monday. The National Guard has also sent helicopters to the Meyers Fire south of Philipsburg and to fires near Kalispell.
Traffic on US 93 requires your attention and patience. Drive carefully!