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Type II team brought in as Elmo 2 Fire continues to grow

Elmo 2 Fire Sunday Screen Shot 2022-07-31 at 4.09.41 PM.png
Posted at 4:34 PM, Jul 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-01 10:37:05-04

ELMO - The Elmo 2 Fire continued to burn and on Sunday ground crews and an aerial team continued to battle the burn West of Flathead Lake near Elmo.

The CSKT Division of Fire Management and local fire departments have been working to stop the fire since it began Friday night.

“The initial attack was very quick and they spent a long day and night out there and I think they're ready for a break. We bring in a team so that we can bring in more resources and help take care of folks out on the line,” said Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 7 spokesperson Sara Rouse.

A Type II fire team was brought in on Sunday morning to relieve the local firefighters and bring in additional resources to hopefully get the fire under control.

“It's just about that as that complexity increases, especially when you need more and more resources on the ground and type two team can come in and help support those folks,” said Rouse.

An aerial team began helping Saturday morning, making it possible for all of the evacuations to be lifted and Highway 28 reopened by Saturday evening. The planes and helicopters will continue to assist in the efforts.

“So the air, the air support that they had, in terms of the initial attack was very important. It was a big thing to have, they're able to get some return on the line as well as some water using the scoopers and all those things. Combined with being able to help hold some of those indirect lines that they put in with dozers made a huge difference,” said Rouse.

The part of the fire near Highway 28 has become manageable enough for ground crews and fire engines to keep it at bay. An infrared flight Saturday night determined that the most active part of the fire is on the Northwest side.

“And that's kind of all the be focusing their efforts with a bunch of the hotshot crews in the smokejumpers that they have,” said Rouse.