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Wildfire, fire management and air quality news for western Montana and the Northern Rockies.

CSKT Fire Cools, Observation Fire Predicted To Grow

Fire officials say they expect the thousand-acre Observation fire southwest of Hamilton to continue spreading, because the fire is moving west into “rugged, inaccessible terrain.” There’s a public meeting about the fire tonight at 7:00 at the community center in Darby.

Fire Information Officer Mary Rasmussen.

"We’ll have information available there on what the operations were today, expected weather, and we’ll be there and available to answer any questions."

The fire is currently estimated at 10 percent contained.

To the north, the threat appears to be diminishing from a fire on Ravalli hill near St. Ignatius.

Charles Camel with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Fire Management says the fire is now,

"Probably 20 to 30 percent contained at this point, it doesn’t look to be able to grow anymore, it shouldn’t be able to spread."

Camel says the fire is burning in an island of timber surrounded by grass that’s already burned.

The U.S. Forest Service is also reporting two small fires in the Gravelly Mountains, approximately 15 miles southwest of Ennis. They say the lightning-caused fires were discovered late yesterday afternoon and total about nine acres. The fires are burning within one mile of each other, and in stands of standing dead and down timber.


Eric Whitney is NPR's Mountain West/Great Plains Bureau Chief, and was the former news director for Montana Public Radio.
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