Roaring Lion Fire near Hamilton tops 7,100 acres

Posted at 6:02 PM, Aug 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-03 20:02:33-04

The Roaring Lion Fire burning near Hamilton has grown to 7,130 acres and is 0% contained as of Wednesday.

Officials have confirmed that 14 homes — as well as dozens of outbuildings — have been destroyed by the Roaring Lion fire.

Approximately 850 homes are currently evacuated.

One person died after suffering cardiac arrest while being evacuated on Monday.

The firefighting effort is under unified command with Hamilton Rural Fire and Northern Rockies National Incident Management Team under the direction of Greg Poncin.

An incident command post has been set up at the Hamilton High School.

There are now 524 personnel assigned to fight the fire, along with nine helicopters, two single-engine air tankers, 33 engines and 15 water tenders.

Fire officials report that the southeastern perimeter of the fire burned actively in the Ward (Gold) Creek drainage towards Camas Creek and firefighters worked throughout the night providing protection in the area affected by the fire.

A Hotshot crew, a dozer, and the Ravalli County task force of 15 engines assembled from local volunteer fire departments all concentrated efforts overnight on slowing the fire spread as well as improving structure protection.

Tuesday’s winds pushed the fire down drainages to the east causing the southeast portion of the fire to show the most growth while other areas of continued to grow at a slower rate.

Closures remain in effect for the Lost Horse drainage area from the junction of Lost Horse Road and Lick Creek Road west to the Idaho-Montana border — including Twin Lakes, Schumaker Campground and Bear Creek Pass Trailhead and from Lake Como north to Camas Creek.

Highway 93 was closed overnight for five hours due to heavy smoke and limited visibility. The road has been reopened with reduced speeds in the area of the fire.

Residents are urged to prepare for changing evacuations orders issued by the Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office. Fire managers say that structure protection remains a high priority. 

The Roaring Lion Fire Incident Management Team and local cooperators will be holding a public meeting on Thursday, August 4th, at 7 p.m. The meeting will take place at the Hamilton Assembly of God Church at 601 west Main Street. 

The latest information on the fire can be obtained by calling 406-363-0484 or 406-241-4338. The phones will be staffed from 6 a.m. through 10 p.m.

A FireWise Information trailer has also been set up at the Rocky Mountain Grange on First Street and south of Murdoch’s in Hamilton on the east-side of U.S. Highway 93.