Lolo National Forest Firefighters are working in rugged, rocky terrain as they battle the Beeskove Fire currently burning in the Rattlesnake Recreation Area.

Spokesman Tod McKay said the lightning caused fire was initially held to just a few acres, but grew rapidly.

“There was some burning rolling debris that came down and unfortunately went right out side of the containment lines,” said McKay. “The fire started to spread pretty quickly and the first hour it had grown by five to seven acres. There were some pretty gusty winds up to about 40 miles per hour that started to push that fire to the north and to the east and it quickly grew to its current size of about 35 acres.”

McKay said officials have called for a full suppression effort.

“That includes three helicopters that are doing bucket work,” he said. “We’ve still got the Lolo Hot Shot crews working on the ground including two additional Type II crews, and there’s also an air attack platform that’s working the fire. We’ve also got another Hot Shot crew en route that is set to arrive early Friday morning.”

McKay said there are emergency closures in the Rattlesnake Recreation area.

“There is a closure order that includes the Rattlesnake Creek Trail and several other trails in that area,” he said. “That also includes the horse parking area up in the Rattlesnake which is currently being used to stage fire vehicles. That closure map can be found here, and on the Lolo National Forest Facebook page and it’s also on Inciweb. We’re asking folks to please just stay out of that area.”

McKay said firefighter safety is an issue, as crews are battling the fire in steep, rocky terrain.


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