A homeowner in the Mill Creek area shooting at some squirrels on his property has forced Lolo Peak Fire operations to cease while an investigation is being conducted.

Missoula County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Brenda Bassett said the incident occurred at about 11:15 a.m. on Wednesday.

"A homeowner was shooting at some squirrels up in the Mill Creek area," said Bassett. "He didn't make the connection that there were firefighters up there, and there were, so the incident ceased fire operations and then they had to leave the area while it was investigated by our deputies."

Bassett said the incident brought the entire fire operation to a temporary halt.

"Not only does it increase the time it takes to repopulate those areas, but it further affects those people who have been displaced, and nit puts those firefighters lives in danger. When they have to stop fire operations it puts more personal property at risk, so obviously, don't be firing guns anywhere near the incident in Lolo."

There were no reports of injuries due to the gunshots.

The Lolo Peak Inciweb page warned people not to use firearms or fly drones near the fire for the protection of firefighters and area residents.

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