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Aug 24, 2011 5:49 PM by Adam Bell

Montana fire updates

The Saddle Complex Fire has burned more than 9,000 acres in Montana, and is currently the largest fire in the state.

The lightning-caused fire started Friday Aug.19, 22 miles northwest of Fork, Idaho. The fire quickly spread to 18,275 acres crossing the Montana-Idaho line. There are 103 personnel fighting the fire. The fire is currently zero percent contained.

The Pheonix National Incident Management Organization Team is en route to the Salmon-Challis National Forest to help manage this fire.

The Black Spring Complex Fires have grown to an estimated 16,000 acres in northern Wyoming. A federal team took over management responsibilities of the five fires. There were non-stop air drops Wednesday mainly on the largest of the fires, the Water Hole Fire.

Locally, in the Gallatin National Forest outside of Gardiner, the Bull Fire continues to burn approximately 240 acres. Seven personnel are fighting the fire in fairly difficult terrain with a moderate potential for growth.

In the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, 350 acres are being consumed by two fires. The lightning-caused Lutz Fire, 20 miles west of Phillipsburg, has charred 320 acres with 59 firefighters battling the blaze. The fire began on Aug.6.

While only burning 30 acres, firefighters are assessing the area around the Whitetail Peak Fire for potential growth. Currently there are only four personnel fighting the fire eight miles northeast of Butte.

Elsewhere in the state, there are currently three active fires burning in the Flathead National Forest and just east of Flathead Lake.

The Big Salmon Lake Fire is burning 2,800 acres in the Bob Marshall Wilderness and is currently reburning in areas it has already burned. Fifteen fire personnel are working to battle this blaze.

The Hammer Creek Fire is burning 1,800 acres and has the potential to expand to the east. Forty eight personnel are fighting the fire currently. Officials say that the growth of this fire is weather dependent.

The human-caused South Fork Lost Creek Fire has expanded to 1,200 acres with 106 firefighters battling it. The fire is 35 percent contained.

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