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Little change seen at West Lolo Complex fires

West Lolo Complex
Posted at 9:42 AM, Jul 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-19 13:05:51-04

MISSOULA — Little change has been seen at the West Lolo Complex fires burning in Mineral and Sanders counties.

A total of 2,055 acres have burned and the blazes are 8% contained. It's cost an estimated $6.1 million to fight the lightning-sparked blazes.

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning from 12 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Monday with gusty winds from scattered thunderstorms and frequent lightning expected.

Fire managers report eight fires have been contained including the Siegel, Sunset, Cataract, Deep Creek, Upper Graves Creek, Quinn, Sheep Creek and Thompson fires.

Firefighters are focusing their efforts on completing containment lines on Deep Lookout Mountain Fire and securing the fire’s perimeter.

Area, road, and trail closures are issued for areas impacted by fire on the Lolo National Forest. Closure information is updated here.

Superior Ranger District:

Deep Lookout Mountain Fire: 365 acres, located on the upper reaches of the Deep Creek Drainage, north of I-90, 12 miles east of Superior, and five miles west of Stark Mountain Lookout

Sunday the combination of suppression efforts and smoke impacts minimized fire behavior and growth on the Deep Lookout Mountain Fire. Containment has increased to 43%. Firefighters improved containment lines around the fire’s perimeter and the spot fires north of the South Fork. Minimal fire behavior is expected Monday. The forecast for strong winds of 35-50 mph associated with dry thunderstorms could push out smoke that has previously shaded the fire area, leading to increased fire behavior in isolated pockets of unburned fuel. Additional smoke may be visible. Along the fire’s perimeter, fire crews and heavy equipment will continue to hold and mop up, increasing depth of containment lines.

Plains/Thompson Falls Ranger District:

Thorne Creek Fire: 1,690 acres, located North East of Thompson Falls

Sunday, heavy equipment continued with line preparation along Bark Table Road to Priscilla Peak and Thompson River Road, and from Bark Table Road to Highway 200. Monday, firefighters will utilize heavy equipment to construct indirect control lines from Weber Gulch Trailhead to the Thompson River Road. The Thorne Creek Fire is being managed as a full suppression fire but due to its location in the steep, rugged terrain of the Cube Iron/Silcox area, the Thorne Creek Fire poses an extreme risk to firefighter safety. Long-term management utilizing indirect strategies and close coordination with private landowners and cooperators for line construction placement and access points is underway.