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Crews gain ground on Elmo Fire

by MATT BALDWIN
Daily Inter Lake | August 8, 2022 12:00 AM

More than 600 firefighters converged on the Flathead Reservation over the weekend to help stop the Elmo 2 Fire dead in its tracks.

The blaze west of Flathead Lake that exploded in size over the previous week grew by only 20 acres between Saturday and Monday. The human-caused fire has charred 21,345 acres since it began July 29.

Aided by favorable weather, crews were able to place hose lines along the north flank of the fire perimeter at Lake Mary Ronan and Big Meadow Road.

To the south, the Helena Hotshots performed a small burning operation to bring the fire to a road that is supported with hose lines. Crews also worked to secure fire lines in areas of Cromwell Creek and Black Lake.

More evacuation orders have been eased as containment increased to 55% on Monday.

Evacuation orders were lifted for residents along Lake Mary Ronan Road west of Dayton Creek Road. This area remains under pre-evacuation warning and is open to residents and guests only.

Camp Tuffit and West Shore Road remains under evacuation order and is closed to all traffic.

Residents of Chief Cliff Lane, Black Lake Road, Big Meadows Road and Dayton Creek Road remain under pre-evacuation warning and are open to residents only.

Two scoopers and three helicopters continue to work the fire, along with 616 firefighters. Total cost to fight the fire reached $10.4 million on Monday.

The fire remains under the command of John Thompson’s Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 7.

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