MISSOULA - The Boulder Lake Fire in Rattlesnake Wilderness northeast of Missoula has burned 25 acres.
Firefighters are assessing the blaze and scouting for possible containment options outside of the wilderness to the southeast of the fire.
Helicopters may be used periodically to limit fire spread, according to a Tuesday update from the Lolo National Forest.
Fire activity is expected to increase in the afternoons due to persistent hot, dry and breezy conditions.
Due to current and predicted fire behavior, the Gold Creek Cabin — a US Forest Service structure — is closed to the public.
Crews are clearing vegetation away from the cabin and wrapping the building's exterior to protect it from potential radiant heat and embers.
The following trails/locations are currently closed:
- Gold Creek Trail #518 from its junction with #336 (Fly Lake Trail) south to its junction with Boulder Lake Trail #333
- Gold Cabin Trail #519
- Gold Creek Cabin
A social media post notes crews are anticipating a critical fire weather day on Tuesday and Wednesday with the potential for increased fire activity and additional smoke.
The lightning-sparked blaze is surrounded to the east and southeast by the Mineral Primm Fire and to the north by the Liberty Fire burned areas.