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Entries in Firestone Flats Fire (2)

Monday
Jul292013

Growth of Firestone Flats fire slows, weather helping

(ARLEE)- There's still a lot of work to be done, but cooler weather is giving fire crews some help on the lines of the Firestone Flats Fire, which erupted over the weekend northeast of Arlee. 

The fire took a serious run after it started Saturday in the upper reaches of the Jocko River, consuming hundreds of acres in a matter of hours and forcing more than 20-homes to be evacuated. High winds created a major problem for the initial firefighters on scene.

Monday morning, DNRC reported the cooler temperatures and higher humidity were helping to slow down fire activity, with the fire now mapped at 1,750 acres. Crews from DNRC, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and other agencies have been working to build perimeter around the fire, with expectation of working around more winds that could develop through the afternoon.

Another meeting to brief local residents is set for 8 p.m. tonight in the Arlee High School gym. 

Jocko Road, Pistol Creek Road, and North Placid Lake Road are currently closed to the public.

Sunday
Jul282013

Fight continues this morning on Firestone Flats blaze

KPAX TV photo(ARLEE)- Fire crews are expected to try and take advantage of cooler morning temperatures today as they work to get a handle on the Firestone Flats Fire, which erupted Saturday afternoon northeast of Arlee. 

The fire quickly spread through the foothills, and had consumed nearly 1,500 acres by nightfall. 

KPAX TV reports Lake County authorities had to evacuate more than 20-homes along the upper reaches of the Jocko Lakes Road as the cloud of smoke mushroomed over the valley. Helicopters and SEAT aircraft, or single engine air tankers, were pulled in off others fires burning in the area to get retardant and water on the blaze, while local firefighters and then Lolo Hot Shots from the Forest Service moved in on the ground.

Hot temperatures, very low humidity and gusty winds helped to push the flames rapidly through the timber. Winds are expected to calm today, and that could give firefighters a break. 

Lolo National Forest closed the Jocko Lakes Road at the Seeley Lake end as a safety precaution. This fire is burning west of the major blaze that scorched the Jocko Lakes country in August 2007.