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Crews battle grass fires in Lolo

Mullan Trail House Fire
Posted at 8:49 AM, Mar 23, 2023

LOLO – Crews battled a pair of Wednesday afternoon grass fires in Lolo.

The Missoula Rural Fire District (MRFD) was first called out shortly before 2 p.m. to Michael Lane in Lolo for a report of a controlled burn that got out of control.

Arriving firefighters found approximately ¼ of an acre field of grass and cottonwood trees on fire.

No structures were threatened, and the free was quickly brought under control.

MRFD Battalion Chief Michael Bowman says that as crews were mopping up on Michael Lane, a second out-of-control fire was reported near mile marker 26 off U.S. Highway 12, just west of Lolo.

The call came in shortly before 3 p.m. and Bowman says MRFD was able to clear three units from the Michael Lane fire to respond to Highway 12.

The second fire — which was also a controlled burn that had gone out of control — burned a little under a ½ acre on a steep hillside.

Bowman says crews were able to get control of the second fire within 30 minutes of arriving at the scene with help from the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.

The open burning season opened in Missoula County on March 1 and all fires require a permit for open burning.

Bowman says both fires had permits and were pushed out of control by windy conditions.