Wildfire Near Marion 10% Contained as Helicopters Aid Suppression Efforts

Officials pleased with progress made on Hubbart Dam fire, say smoke in Flathead Valley is being blown in from fires in California

By Andy Viano

Firefighters made progress combating the 121-acre Hubbart Dam fire southwest of Marion on Thursday, using a pair of helicopters and 53 personnel to keep the blaze contained despite moderate to high winds that swept through the area.

The fire is officially 10% contained as of Friday morning, with Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation Fire Prevention Specialist Ernie Nace saying crews are “still holding strong” on a fire line about 1 1/2 miles from any nearby structures. There are no road closures in effect in the area about 12 miles southwest of Marion.

Two helicopters joined the effort to fight the fire on Wednesday after the fire blew up to 121 acres, and the choppers are continuing to drop water  to aid crews on the ground. The fire began on private land and was burning mostly through timber, according to the National Interagency Coordination Center. Eleven fire engines are also part of the suppression effort.

Nace also added that the smoke that found its way into the Flathead Valley on Thursday was not from the Hubbart Dam fire but instead from the massive fires that continue to burn in California. The air quality in the Flathead Valley was classified as “good” as of 11 a.m. Friday.

andy@flatheadbeacon.com

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