Posted: Aug 3, 2012 10:44 AM by KPAX/KAJ Media Center
Updated: Aug 3, 2012 1:36 PM
FRENCHTOWN- The Butler fire burning in the Ninemile Ranger District west of Missoula has burned about 70 acres and is now 25% contained, according to the latest figures provided by fire officials.
The lightning-sparked blaze was first spotted on July 30th and 173 personnel are now assigned to the fire that's burning in lodgepole pine and subalpine fir forest, with heavy fuel loads of down and standing dead timber.
Although the fire is currently located on the Ninemile Ranger District, the blaze is close to the divide between with the Flathead Indian Reservation and crews want to stop it from spreading north and east onto the Reservation.
(photo courtesy USDA-FS; photo taken by Jeff Hayes)
A Type II Incident Management Team is handling fire operations and a command post has been set up at Richardson Ranch along Interstate 90.
Firefighters plan to strengthen the existing fireline, watch for potential spot fires, and will begin the long process of laying hose and mopping up the fire from the perimeter inward on Friday, according to a news release.
There are several road and trail closures near the Butler Fire, including: the Butler Creek Road Loop area, the Edith Peak Road area, Reservation Divide Trail, Kennedy Creek Trail, and Ch-paa-qn Peak Trail.