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Over 500 now battling Observation fire

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The lightning sparked Observation fire burning 10 miles southwest of Hamilton held steady at nearly 1,300 acre burned on Saturday. (MTN News photo) The lightning sparked Observation fire burning 10 miles southwest of Hamilton held steady at nearly 1,300 acre burned on Saturday. (MTN News photo)
MISSOULA -

More resources keep pouring into the Bitterroot to battle the Observation fire that's burning 10 miles southwest of Hamilton.

There are now over 525 people assigned to the 1,348 acre blaze that was sparked by lightning on June 24.

The fire is 15 percent contained and the Stage 1 evacuation notification remains in effect for over 200 residences west of U.S. Highway 93 from Gold Creek to Lost Horse, meaning residents should be prepared in case they are asked to leave.

A Type I Incident Management Team continues to lead the assault, along with eight aircraft, 21 engines, 15 dozers and seven watertenders.

Crews again attacked the fire from the air on Sunday, dropping water and retardant on inaccessible terrain while heavy equipment worked on creating a contingency line near Camas Creek.

Fire managers report that the Observation fire was most active on Sunday near Hayes Creek and Camas Creek, threatening the retardant line.

Fire engines will be visible in the community on Monday as crews familiarize themselves with roadways and structures to be ready for initial attack operations in support of rural fire departments if needed.

An area closure is still 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 is still open to the public.


The lightning sparked Observation fire burning 10 miles southwest of Hamilton held steady at nearly 1,300 acre burned on Saturday.

There are now a total of 411 personnel on the fire  including seven aircraft, seven engines, five dozers and six watertenders.

Air operations are expected to continue Sunday with water and retardant drops taking place on inaccessible terrain, including hot spots and the ridge to the north of the fire.

Ground crews will continue direct line construction on the east side of the fire. Day and night crews will mop up and improve line along the southeast part of the fire and along Lost Horse Road.

The north and northeast side of the fire will be the most active and is expected to burn into Hayes Creek drainage.

An area closure is still 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.

Over 200 residences remain under a Stage 1 alert, meaning they need to be ready in case an evacuation is needed.

RELATED:

Observation fire grows to 1,050 acres

Homeowners prepare for the worst as Observation Point fire rages

Air quality worsening as fires burn in the Bitterroot

Ravalli County Commission declares state of emergency

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