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Wildfire north of Missoula grows to 182 acres

Posted: 6:37 AM, Jul 30, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-30 14:02:19-04

MISSOULA – The lightning-sparked Beeskove Fire burning in the Rattlesnake National Recreation area stood at 182 acres burned Monday evening.

The blaze is consuming unburned fuel within the main fire perimeter, with some new growth on the southeastern flank of the fire moving away from Missoula, according to fire managers.

The fire is still at 0 percent containment.

Firefighters are working to strengthen the anchor point, improving containment lines on the southwest corner of the fire from Rattlesnake Creek to the fire’s edge.

Burning and rolling debris, due to the steep slopes, along with rugged terrain remains a challenge for firefighters.

Four Hotshot crews, two Type II crews, and six helicopters are working to contain the fire under a full suppression strategy.  There are currently 170 people assigned to the fire.

No structures are threatened at this time.

The area closure remains in place for the Rattlesnake Recreation Area which includes the Horse Trailhead, and numerous trails.

“We would like to remind the public that an area closure is in place for public and firefighter safety, and so crews and equipment have the space needed to work,” said Jennifer Hensiek, Missoula district ranger.

“We realize this is an inconvenience, and we appreciate everyone’s cooperation during this closure,” she added.

The public can expect to see an uptick in traffic on the Rattlesnake Drive in the morning and afternoon when firefighters are driving to the staging areas to begin operations.

The fire is burning in extremely rugged and steep terrain of the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area, approximately five miles northeast of the main Rattlesnake Trailhead.

Smoke may be visible from the upper Rattlesnake area, Missoula, Bonner, the Highway 200 corridor, and Seeley Lake. Currently, smoke is drifting north, east and south.

While there are no fire restrictions at this time, the Lolo National Forest remains under Very High Fire Danger.

Firefighters have responded to 13 lightning wildfires and 26 human-caused fires this summer on the Lolo National Forest with a total of 205 acres impacted by wildfire.