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Butte Cabin Fire Near Missoula Cut Back to Just Eight Acres

tree on fire
Photo courtesy of V’ron/Flickr

A tanker flying back to Missoula spotted a new fire in the hills just southeast of town late Monday evening, but quick work by fire crews have limited the damage.

The Butte Cabin Fire is still burning about 25 miles south east of Missoula and so far the cause of the blaze is still undetermined.

“The fire started mid-slope, fairly close to a trail head and some developed recreation sites,” said Lolo National Forest Spokesman Boyd Hartwig. “It’s burning on steep terrain and grass. Based on where it started it doesn’t look like a typical human-caused fire and that’s why we’re thinking it might be lightning.”

The initial attack on the fire on Monday July 29 evening was very successful.

“Some firefighters went in late Monday night… about 27 total. One crew and then about seven Missoula initial attack firefighters. They hit it hard with three SEATS, two heavy helicopters, one light helicopter. They really did a good job and kept that fire at 15 acres, we could easily be looking at a fire that’s much bigger than that.”

As of Wednesday July 30, the fire had been cut down to just eight acres and is considered to be 40 percent contained. There are now two Type II crews fighting that fire along with two helicopters and the seven initial attack firefighters from Missoula.

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