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Monday
Aug222011

Bonner fire burns over 200 acres in just 4-hours

Smoke from the blaze could be seen from miles away(BONNER)- The hillside on the north side of the Clark Fork Valley was covered in fire as darkness fell Monday night, making it look like the campsite of an invading army.

It was actually the remnants of a fire that spread across the mountain north of Bonner in less than 4-hours, consuming over 200-acres.

The blaze, which is being called the West Riverside Fire, was first reported by residents as "some smoke and flames" on the steep hillside above town. But fanned by 20mph wind gusts the blaze spread across the entire face of the mountain in about an hour. By 8:30 it's estimated size was 150-acres, as the blaze began cresting the mountain overlooking the Blackfoot.

DNRC used two helicopters to dump water along the leading edge of the fire closest to homes and other structures against the mountain. An air tanker managed to make at least two retardant drops before darkness shut down the aerial operation.

Crews from Missoula Rural Fire called for help from fire departments as far away as Frenchtown and Potomac, bringing engines to help protect structures throughout the area.

No mandatory evacuations had been ordered, but some residents were leaving on their own as emergency teams kept an eye on homes and other buildings in the scattered neighborhoods close to the mountain.

DNRC says more fire crews will mobilize to get an early attack on the fire at first light.

 

Monday
Aug222011

Fire creating lots of smoke over Bonner, East Missoula

Anne Bashor photo(BONNER)- A new fire start just east of Missoula is sending smoke over Mount Jumbo, with the blaze already burning an estimated 25-acres.

KPAX TV is reporting the blaze broke out right before 6pm, burning on the hillside above Bonner and spreading rapidly up the hillside.

DNRC already has one helicopter on scene and a second chopper, along with an air tanker on the way. A 20-person fire crew has been dispatched to deal with the blaze.

There's no indication of structures being threatened at this point.

 

Monday
Aug222011

Suspicious powder found at DIRECT-TV in Missoula

KPAX photo(MISSOULA)- Missoula firefighters and hazardous materials crews are out at the DIRECT TV call center on the city's west side, where they are checking out reports of a suspicious powder, found on a package that arrived there this afternoon.

KPAX TV is reporting the powder was found on a package that was received by the company's Human Resources Department this afternoon. A Missoula County Sheriff's Department spokesman says several people were exposed, although it doesn't appear that anyone had to be transported to the hospital. The building was being evacuated as a precaution.

The DIRECT TV call center near the airport is one of Missoula's largest employers.

Sunday
Aug212011

Slumping economy puts the "freeze" on Reserve St ice cream store

(MISSOULA)- 15-years after opening in the economic boom times of the 1990s, owners of the Baskin-Robbins store on North Reserve are closing their doors.

A post on the Missoula Downtown Association website says the store, which originally opened in 1996, is a victim of rising operational costs, including higher energy and costs for their ice cream products. 

The Loomis family, which have owned the North Reserve store since 2001, will move their employees to their second store on Brooks Street, which will remain open. The family MDA website says the family will also continue operating their Baskin-Robbins Catering business and the Baskin-Robbins at the UM campus.

The last day of business at the North Reserve store will be Tuesday, August 23rd.

Sunday
Aug212011

Woman doing 90mph before she hits trailer

(MISSOULA)- Accident investigators say a woman who crashed into a mobile home Saturday night was driving at 94mph just before the crash.

KPAX TV reports the woman in her 30s crashed into the Blue Mountain Trailer Park just before 9pm.

Montana Highway Patrol troopers say the woman was driving south on U.S. 93 and lost control of her car when she was trying to turn into the trailer park. She was hurt and taken to the hospital to be checked out. No one else was hurt.

Troopers are still investigating, but say both speed and alcohol were factors in the crash.

 

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