Fire danger eased back to high on Lolo National Forest

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The Lolo National Forest has declared High Fire Danger following heavy rains last weekend which downgraded the danger from Very High.

This means that fires start easily and small fuels, like grasses and needles, will ignite readily. Unattended campfires and brush fires are likely to escape. Fires will spread easily, with some areas of high-intensity burning on slopes or concentrated fuels. Fires can become serious and difficult to control unless they are put out while they are still small.

St. Regis received 1.52 inches of rain while Pardee received .89 inches and Haugan Mountain received .59 inches, according to Remote Automated Weather Stations (RAWS) on Superior Road.

Superior Ranger District Fire Management Officer Jim Ward says the Forest Service picked up two lightning-caused fires south of St. Regis at the mouth of Cold Creek and one on a primary ridge east of Brown Gulch. Both were only one tenth off an acre, Ward says.

Wednesday, August 7, Missoula crews assisted with the now 528-acre CCC fire in Cataldo Idaho about 35 miles west of Lookout Pass along Interstate 90. The fire was 50 percent contained as of Monday, August 12.

Two Type 1 helicopters assigned to the Beeskove Fire, which burns north of Missoula, assisted with bucket work for the CCC Fire.

“Type 1 helicopters are the largest that are used for firefighting and must be capable of delivering 700 gallons or more of water,” Ward said.

The 429-acre Beeskove Fire continues to burn but favorable weather prevented the fire’s growth and is now at 20 percent containment as of Monday, August 12.

The lightning-caused fire was detected on Tuesday, July 23 and is burning a remote location five miles northeast of the main

Rattlesnake Trailhead within the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area, according to InciWeb.

Due to the inaccessible area and high-risk conditions, firefighters are attacking the area using indirect control lines.

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