Firefighters are making excellent progress on the Firestone Flats Fire on the Flathead Reservation, holding the fire at 1,750 acres.

Fire Information Officer Brian LaMoure said crews on the ground have been able to build a line all the way around the fire to keep it from growing.

"We surround the fire with a fire line, we take it down to the dirt, as we say," LaMoure said. "We have the Hot Shots out there, the firefighters and they literally pound the ground and scratch down to the dirt in building a line around the fire. Sometimes we do some backfiring or some burning ourselves, causing the fire to draw into itself so it takes away the fuel it needs to keep going. There's quite a few different strategies they have on the fire."

LaMoure said safety is their number one priority when fighting the fire.

"Safety, safety, safety, that's number one with us as it always has been," LaMoure said. "They say, how can we address this fire quickly and safely and nput it out as quickly as we can without it starting any more fires."

LaMoure said the fire is now 60% contained, and has cost over $1.2 million dollars to fight so far.

"We have 362 personnel working the fire," LaMoure said. "We have five aircraft, helicopters that are working the area. We have 18 engines and 12 pieces of heavy equipment, so we still have a lot of people doing a lot of good work on the fire."

LaMoure confirmed that the fire was human-caused, but the investigation continues as to who may have been responsible.

Fire Information Officer Brian LaMoure