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Aug 6, 2012 1:32 PM by MTN News

Crews battle wildfire near Seeley Lake

MISSOULA- A fire reported Sunday afternoon grew quickly to 25 to 30 acres and is burning 11 miles northwest of Seeley Lake.

Paula Short with the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation reports the West Marshall Creek Fire is burning in subalpine fir and lodgepole pine with a lot of beetle-killed trees.

A U.S. Forest Service patrol flight spotted the blaze, prompting the DNRC to send out three helicopters, single-engine air tankers, and a Convair heavy airtanker in an attempt to slow the spread of the fire.

"Its rugged county, with very little access," said DNRC's Mike Kopitzke, Area Fire Program Manager for the agency's Southwestern Land Office.

Kopitzke added crews were driving to the fire on some decommissioned logging roads, but still faced a mile or so hike to the fire.

A 20-person crew from Montana State Prison was hiking into the fire Monday morning and orders are in for four additional crews.

Short says that the lightning-caused West Marshall Creek Fire is 0% contained.

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