Firewatch

Aug 21, 2012 8:52 PM by Dennis Bragg - KPAX News

Lightning sparks round of small fires near Lolo Hot Springs

LOLO PASS- Another series of thunderstorms rumbled off the Bitterroot Divide Tuesday afternoon, generating lightning storms and sparking several small fires.

The thunderstorms began around mid-afternoon, and like storms we've seen over the past several weeks, started a series of small fires in the area.

Some of those strikes hit around Lolo Creek itself, including one which ignited a fast-burning fire about nine miles below Lolo Pass.

Montana Department of Transportation crews were actually the first ones on scene, with crews coming from the nearby maintenance shops to get some initial water on the fire.

They were followed by firefighters from the Missoula Rural Fire District and the U.S. Forest Service, who set up more lines to get water onto the hillside before the fire could spread.

Fire crews were able to keep this blaze at less than a quarter-acre. But even as they were mopping up, additional "smokes" were seen in the area and crews were hiking in to deal with them.

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