Lolo Peak Fire Triples in Size Over the Weekend, Will Likely Burn Until Snowfall
The Lolo Peak Fire tripled in size over the weekend to over 750 acres and shows no signs of slowing. Fire information officer Mike Cole says the fire will likely burn until the snow falls, the worse news, is that the fire has a head start this year.
"We're about two weeks ahead of where our normal fire season starts in the Northern Rockies, in fact, we had all of our Northern Rockies [Fire Management] teams out in this area last week, all seven of our teams were out, to the point that if we get any more big fire starts in the Northern Rockies, we will have to have teams from other parts of the country coming in."
Cole has been to the Bitterroot for many big blazes, including the Roaring Lion Fire and the Lolo Complex fire. He says the good news with this fire is that people still have time to prepare.
"It's five or six miles to the closest property, and those would be up in the Highway 12 area, up around Mill Creek, Elk Meadows, and the South Fork of Lolo Creek. This isn't like the fire we came down here for in 2013 where when we arrived that fire was roaring down Highway 12, people still have an opportunity to start putting defensible space around their homes."
Fire crews are currently working with private property owners down in the valley to set up a control line. Because of the isolated location and dense timber, Cole says the fire will likely burn until the snow falls. A public information meeting will occur at 7:00 p.m. in the Lolo school on Monday night, then again in the Stevensville Gym at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday night, both will be live-streamed on Facebook.