Observation fire grows to 1,050 acres - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

Observation fire grows to 1,050 acres

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The Observation fire continues to burn in the Bitterroot. (MTN News photo) The Observation fire continues to burn in the Bitterroot. (MTN News photo)

The Observation fire burning southwest of Hamilton has grown to 1,050 acres and is only 10 percent contained after being sparked by lightning on June 24.

A Type 1 Incident Management Team from the Northern Rockies is now managing the blaze which has prompted a Stage 1 Alert for over 200 residences on the west side of U.S Highway 93 between Lost Horse Road and Gold Creek Loop, meaning that homeowners might have to flee if the danger increases.

Firefighters are patrolling, mopping up and improving line along the southeast part of the fire and along Lost Horse Road as well as using aerial resources on inaccessible terrain with water and retardant drops.   

A public meeting about the fire will be held Friday at 7 p.m. at the Community Center in Darby. Information will also be available at the FireSmart trailer located at the Charlos Heights Fire Station off Hwy 93 through the weekend.

There are now nearly 140 people assigned to the blaze as well as six aircraft, three engines, three dozers and three watertenders. Support is also being provided by Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office and Hamilton and Darby rural fire departments

The fire danger on the Bitterroot National Forest remains at the high level and the Ravalli County Commission issued a local state of emergency earlier this week due to the Observation fire.

An area closure remains in effect for the Lost Horse drainage from the junction of Lost Horse Creek Road and Lick Creek Road west to the Idaho-Montana border, including Twin Lakes, Schumaker Campground and Bear Creek Pass Trailhead and from Lake Como north to Camas Creek. 

Lake Como remains open to the public.


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Ravalli County Commission declares state of emergency 

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Open burning ban coming to Flathead

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