Jul 22, 2013 12:07 PM by Jason Laird - Q2 News
BILLINGS - Dry conditions across the state have fueled the development of five fires currently burning in Montana.
Lolo National Forest contains three of the fires, with the remaining two occupying the Bitterroot National Forest and Gallatin National Forest.
Here are the first, listed from largest to smallest:
The West Mullan Fire dwarfs the other four consuming 5,880 acres. The west Mullan fire was spotted July 14th and the cause is still under investigation. The fire is approximately 4 mile west of Superior Montana. Flat Creek Road outside the city limit remains closed and is under a mandatory evacuation. Pardee Creek, Keystone Creek, and LaVista Roads remain closed and under mandatory evacuation. Big Eddy Fishing Access is closed.
The Gold Pan Fire is much smaller in size, so far burning only 200 acres. The fire is located 35 air miles SW of Darby, MT. and just west of the Selway River near Kim Creek Saddle. This fire was reported July 16th and the Magruder Road Corridor is within a half mile. The road is open but traffic but may be stopped if fire moves closer.
Very similar in size to the Gold Pan Fire, the Gold Creek Fire has burned 170 acres. Heavy helicopter use is being implemented to prevent the spread of this fire. The fire is located 16 miles northeast of Missoula. Many closers have been reported and are listed below.
Closures:Gold Creek Trail-head and West Fork Gold Creek Trail-head will be closed. The area closure extends to all areas west of Gold Creek Road, north of Trail #52 (Primm Lake Trail) and east of the Main Rattlesnake Recreation Corridor. Trail #504 (Porcupine Ridge Trail) is closed. Trail #52 and trails south of the Rattlesnake vicinity are open. The closure also borders Trail #515 accessing the headwaters of Rattlesnake Creek, this trail is open.
Forest Road #126 will remain closed at Cow Creek Gate (approx. 7 miles in), the West Fork of Gold Creek Trail-head (Rd #4323) at the junction of Rd #4323 and Rd #2103 is currently closed. This is approx. 6 miles to West Fork of Gold Creek Trail-head.
The Black Bear Fire, which has burned 80 acres, has been 100 percent contained. As of July 14, fire crews completely contained the fire but still remain on scene to monitor and prevent any out breaks.
Montana's newest fire, The Emigrant Fire, is already well underway consuming 30 acres in less than 24 hours. The original report of this fire was taken on July 21 at approximately 1:15 pm. This fire has reportedly actively increased. The fire is located south of Emigrant Peak, between Gold Prize Creek and North Fork of Six-mile Creek near Livingston.