NewsWildfire Watch


Small wildfires burning in Lolo National Forest

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Posted at 1:09 PM, Aug 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-22 15:09:54-04

MISSOULA - Officials with the Lolo National Forest report that crews are continuing to respond to several wildfires and aircraft are being shared between emerging incidents.

Approximately 20 lightning strikes impacted the Lolo National Forest and while some parts of the forest also received rain, the rainfall was variable.

Due to continued hot and dry weather, firefighters are expecting new wildfires to appear over the next several days.

A social media post notes that all districts in the Lolo National Forest are seeing new small fire starts, with most occurring on the Superior and Ninemile Ranger Districts.

Murphy Creek Fire, Superior Ranger District

  • Size: 3.5 acres due to more accurate mapping.
  • Location: Located in the Murphy Creek area, south of the Dry Creek Fishing Access (on the Clark Fork River) and four-to-five miles west of Superior. The fire is one mile west of Murphy Creek and south of Southside Road. It is located on a steep, north-facing slope and can be seen from Superior and surrounding communities as well as from I-90.
  • Containment: 95%
  • Cause: Lightning
  • Fuel Type: Heavy timber on a steep, north-facing slope.
  • Fire Behavior: Active to moderate fire behavior, tree torching, creeping, and smoldering.
  • Closures: None are in place at this time and no structures are immediately threatened. Helicopters will be using the Clark Fork River for water,.
  • Smoke: Smoke may be visible from I-90 and the community of Superior.

Forest officials state that due to a quick initial response, the fire is now 95% contained. Helicopters conducted water bucket drops on the fire to check fire spread on Sunday while ground crews and a hotshot crew worked to gain access to the fire and were successful at building a saw and hand line around the fire.

Wolverine 2 Fire, Superior Ranger District

  • Size: 1 acre
  • Location: In a remote location at the headwaters of Cedar Creek, one mile east of Oregon Lakes/Idaho-Montana state line, one mile west of Freezeout Road #388.
  • Cause: Lightning
  • Containment: 95%
  • Fuel Type: Thick timber, dead and down timber
  • Fire Behavior: Creeping, smoldering, and isolated tree torching.
  • Closures: None at this time.

Smokejumpers were successful at building a saw and hand line around the fire on Sunday and are working to improve the line before moving on to mop-up operations.