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West Fork, Moose Lake fires grow in northwest Montana - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

West Fork, Moose Lake fires grow in northwest Montana

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A photo of night operations on the West Fork fire. (inciweb.org photo) A photo of night operations on the West Fork fire. (inciweb.org photo)

LIBBY - A pair of wildfires are still burning in northwest Montana.

The West Fork fire, which is seven miles northwest of Libby, has grown to over 13,300 acres while the Moose Peak fire, near Moose Peak in Sanders County, has burned over 8,200 acres.

A community meeting to discuss the fires will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday at the Thompson Lake Christian Retreat, located at 593 ACM Road South. Some evacuation orders have been lifted near the West Fork fire. The latest information can be found by calling (406) 293-6295.

FEMA has approved money to help pay for the battle against the blazes.

Fire activity increased through the day on the West Fork fire near Mount Tom and the DC-10 air tanker was used to drop retardant just north of Mount Tom, according to fire managers.  This retardant line helped to slow fire growth and allow equipment and crews time to improve the primary containment lines.

A spot fire was detected by the Air Attack Group Supervisor near Gold Hill approximately six miles due east of Loon Lake. Two heavy air tankers were able to box the spot fire in with retardant.

Near the Moose Peak fire, evacuation notices have been issued for East Fisher Road and Bayhorse Ranch while pre-evacuation notices have been issued for McGinnis Meadows. Call (406) 293-6295 for the most up-to-date information on evacuations.

Fire officials say that as the blaze became more active in the Miller Lake area on Sunday, crews burned out a section of unburned fuel along the dozer line extending north of the lake. Aerial resources also quickly responded to a spot fire outside of the primary containment line east of Fishtrap Creek.

A fire information line for both fires is available at (406) 209-9961.

There are 235 people assigned to the West Fork fire and 26 personnel working on the Moose Peak fire.

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