Firefighters continued to battle the Condon Mountain Fire this week, which had grown to 5,100 acres by Friday. All residents east of Montana Highway 83 in the Condon area were being prepared for potential evacuations.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Forest Service in Kalispell was reminding people in Northwest Montana that fire season was far from over.
“Warm dry weather is creating late season opportunities for recreationist and forest users, but is also prolonging the fire season with fire danger remaining high,” wrote Public Affairs Specialist Wade Muehlhof in a press release Friday.
Muehlhof predicted fire season would not end until a significant rain event. As of Friday afternoon the National Weather Service was reporting a slight chance of precipitation in the Flathead Valley late next week.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, the Condon fire was 45 percent contained and 12 structures remain at risk. Late this week, firefighters were burning fuels in an attempt the slow fire growth. Helicopters were also being used to cool hot spots, but the potential for growth remains high.
The fire has forced the Forest Service to close various trails and access to the area. A temporary flight restriction was also in effect.
For updates throughout the weekend, visit www.inciweb.org.