Aug 19, 2013 9:20 PM by KPAX/KAJ Media Center

Lolo fire levels homes, evacuations ordered, Hwy 12 closed

LOLO - A pair of lightning sparked blazes that roared to life on Monday west of Lolo are now being fought as one.

The Lolo Creek Complex fire is burning about a mile north of U.S. Highway 12 in the area of Woodman School. he blaze consists of two fires, formerly the Schoolhouse Fire and the West Fork II Fire.

Fire officials report that the flames have spread to 3,500 acres due to low humidity, gusty winds, and high temperatures on Monday.

Fire managers caution that heavy smoke is likely to put a crimp into air operations to battle the blazes, and the potential for this fire to spread even further is very high.

Some structures, including homes, have been lost in the fire - although there's no official word on how many homes burned or where they are located.

Voluntary evacuations have been issued. For a constantly updated evacuation list and information on shelters, click here. Residents may also call (406) 258.4636 for more information.

U.S. Highway 12 is now closed between U.S. Highway 93 South in Lolo and Lolo Pass at the Idaho border.

(Photo courtesy of Matt Anderson)

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