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Firestone Flats Fire
Photo courtesy of Fire Photography
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Firestone Flats Fire Holding at 1750 Acres – $1.2 Million Spent So Far [AUDIO]

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

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Gold Pan 2013
photo from Inciweb.org
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Gold Pan Complex Tops 13,000 Acres – Fire Season Just Starting [AUDIO]

The Gold Pan Fire Complex currently burning in wilderness areas about 35 miles southwest of Darby was very active on Tuesday, growing by almost 2,000 acres to over 13,000 acres.

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Firestone Flats Fire David King
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UPDATE – Evacuations Lifted on Firestone Flats Fire [AUDIO]

UPDATE - 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, July 30

Fire Information officer Brian LaMoure at the Firestone Flats fire burning on the Flathead Reservation said residents will be allowed back into their homes as of 5:00 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.

"The really good news is that, conditions permitting, that we're going to allow the residents back into their homes tonight at 5 o'clock," LaMoure said. "They'll have to check in at what they call the Wye, but they're also waiting because we're grading the road, which is making the residents very happy, as well. The fire's heavy equipment has been going over that road and it needed some improvement to get them in and out quickly and safely, but we're pleased to be allowing residents back into their homes, conditions permitting."

LaMoure said the fire is now about 40% contained, still at around 1750 acres, and said the costs associated with the fire are now above $750,000. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, although there has been no lightning in the area for over a week.
Fire Information Officer Brian LaMoure

UPDATE - 5:00 p.m. Monday, July 29

The Firestone Flats fire burning on the Flathead Reservation has been held to 1750 acres, according to fire information officer Cindy Super.

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West Mullan Fire
Photo courtesy of Inciweb.org
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West Mullan Fire 60% Contained – $7 Million Spent So Far [AUDIO]

Tuesday was a good day for firefighters battling the West Mullan Fire near Superior. Fire Information Officer Pat McKelvey said late Tuesday that the fire is now about 60% contained.

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helicopter
photo courtesy of Forest Service Northern Region
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New Fire Reported Near 2011 West Riverside Fire Location [AUDIO]

Several agencies are battling a new fire reported this morning near the location of the 2011 West Riverside fire. Cindy Super, fire information officer with the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, says the fire is a little more than an acre in size, but is attracting a lot of attention.

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Wildfire
Photo by Michael Bocchieri/Getty Images
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The Million Dollar Campfire – State Laws Require Responsible Party to Pay Fire Costs [AUDIO]

Wildfire season has begun in Western Montana, with the West Mullan fire threatening Superior and the Gold Creek fire burning just east of Missoula. The Gold Creek fire was lightning-caused, however, the investigation continues as to how the West Mullan fire started.

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Jet Tanker Dropping Retardant
Photo by David McNew/Getty Images
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West Mullan Fire Over 4,000 Acres – Red Cross Opens Evacuation Center [AUDIO]

Over 100 homes have been evacuated due to the West Mullan Fire that has been burning since last Sunday near Superior.

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West Mullan Fire
Photo courtesy of Inciweb.org
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Wildfire Smoke a Concern for Missoula Health Department [AUDIO]

With wildfires burning both east and west of Missoula, it was inevitable that smoke would settle in the valley. Early Thursday morning the smoke veiled the mountains, but began to dissipate as the weather warmed.

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retardant drop
Photo courtesy of Cococino National Forest/flickr.com
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UPDATE – West Mullan Fire Over 4,000 Acres – Evacuation Center Opened [AUDIO]

UPDATE - 8:00 a. m. Friday, July 19.

The Mineral County Sheriff's Department has evacuated over 100 homes near the West Mullan Fire. The American Red Cross has opened an emergency evacuation center at the Superior Elementary School. Strong winds have pushed the fire to over 4,000 acres. The fire was discovered last Sunday, and the cause is still under investigation.

 

UPDATE - 2:00 a.m. Thursday, July 18, the following report is from the Inciweb.org, released at about 9:00 p.m. Wednesday.

The West Mullan fire remained active overnight. Crews were able to make additional progress on suppression activities above the residential areas north of West Mullan Road. The suppression line along Pardee Creek on the west side was strengthened with some burnout operations between the line and the fire. Several small spot fires occurred on the south side with upslope spread of the fire. Spotting is also detected on the east flank toward the Flat Creek drainage. These spots are up high on the mountain. Today, firefighters will continue line construction above Pardee Creek to tie in with an existing road. Crews will look for opportunities to construct line and attack the fire directly on East flank. An existing road on the northeast side will be prepared to serve as a contingency line. On the south side of the fire above residences, mopup of hot spots in the burned area will take place. Local fire departments are providing structure protection.

Residences north of Clark Fork River in Superior are under mandatory evacuation. West Mullan and East Mullan Road from Sunflower Lane to Big Eddy and side roads in between, are now under mandatory evacuation. Flat Creek Road is also under this evacuation order.

Pat McKelvey, Fire Information Officer

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has closed a five-mile section of the Clark Fork River near Superior so that water can be safely drawn from the river by helicopters fighting the West Mullan fire.

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wildfire
photo courtesy of inciweb.org
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Lightning Fire Burning in Wilderness Near Gold Creek Northeast of Missoula

Inciweb reports that firefighters are responding to a new fire approximately 17 miles northeast of Missoula and three miles east of Boulder Lake in the Gold Creek area on the Missoula Ranger District.

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