The Fool Creek fire west of Choteau spread outside of the Bob Marshall Wilderness, prompting crews to begin actively suppressing it, said Cathie Schmidlin, fire information officer. The blaze, which has burned 21,888 acres since late June, had been treated as a wildland use fire. Evacuation orders were issued for cabins in the west fork of the Teton River and the Teton Pass Ski Area, and additional forest closures were expected.
Here are other fire updates:
Southwest of Polson, crews began leaving the Garceau fire, which was 90 percent contained after burning 3,045 acres. “We are in heavy mop-up mode now,” said fire information officer Terina Mullen. No homes were threatened, and crews hoped to fully contain the blaze by Aug. 10.
A specialized “Type 2” management team from Florida was expected to take over a wildfire west of Whitefish on Thursday that continued to grow. The Brush Creek fire has burned 4,625 acres, spreading onto the Kootenai National Forest and Plum Creek lands, information officer Teresa Wenum said. The Sylvia Lake Campground and several area trails were closed, and authorities were prepared to evacuate the Star Meadows area about five miles from the blaze.
Smoke inversion kept a wildfire north of Thompson Falls relatively quiet Wednesday, although burning picked up once the inversion lifted that night, officials said. The Chippy Creek fire grew to 4,586 acres threatened up to a dozen homes, but no evacuations had been ordered.
In the Lolo National Forest, a wildfire north of Ovando grew to 4,000 acres, and crews were working to protect several threatened bridges and cabins, said Wayne Williams, fire information officer. Several area trails remained closed.
Containment of the 2,800-acre Owl fire in the northwestern corner of Yellowstone National Park grew to 50 percent Wednesday, with cooler temperatures and higher humidity expected to further aid fire crews. A blaze in the backcountry was kicking up smoke after several days of inactivity, but was threatening no structures and being managed as a wildland fire because of its remote location.
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