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Observation Point fire approaches 1,000 acres - KXLH.com | Helena, Montana

Observation Point fire approaches 1,000 acres

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MISSOULA -

The Observation Point fire burning near Hamilton and Darby has now grown to approximately 970 acres.

The fire was sparked by lightning on June 24.

Because of the increased complexity of the fire – helicopters, retardant planes, additional personnel, spread of fire, and continued hot dry weather -- a Type 1 Incident Management team is taking over the scene today.

Nearly 130 people are battling the fire, which has prompted a Stage 1 alert for more than 200 residences on the west side of U.S. Highway 93 between Lost Horse Road and Gold Creek Loop.

Ravalli County commissioners declared a state of emergency on Wednesday because of the fire.

An area closure is still in effect for the Lost Horse drainage from the junction of Lost Horse Creek Road and Lick Creek Road west to the Idaho-Montana border -- including Twin Lakes, Schumaker Campground and Bear Creek Pass Trailhead.

A new closure will be in effect from Lake Como north to Camas Creek. However, Lake Como is still open.

Ravalli County commissioners passed a resolution of Thursday that bans open burning in Ravalli County. The fire danger was hiked to "high" in the Bitterroot National Forest on Wednesday.

  • Reported by Mark Thorsell & Don Fisher

RELATED: 
Weather posing challenges fighting Observation Point fire
Homeowners prepare for the worst as Observation Point fire rages
Ravalli County Commission declares state of emergency

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