Lolo Peak Fire causes more evacuations, Highway 12 closed

Lolo Fire

Above: Lolo Fire at 6:25 p.m. MDT August 18, 2017 as seen from the Missoula area. Photo by Dick Mangan.

(Originally published at 7:28 a.m. MDT August 19, 2018)

(All of the articles about the Lolo Peak Fire have the “Lolo Peak Fire” tag, and can be found here, with the most recent news at the top.)

The Lolo Peak Fire eight miles southwest of Missoula, Montana roared across an additional 9,000 acres Friday to bring the total burned area to 27,900 acres. Officials closed Highway 12 and evacuated additional locations on the north side of the highway on Sleeman Creek Road and west of Stella Blue. Old Hwy 93 is closed from the intersection of Long Lane in Florence north through Missoula County.

There has been no report of the fire crossing Highway 12.

Strong winds pushed the fire farther to the north and the east from the Mill Creek area towards Travelers Rest. (See the map below.)

Lolo Fire map
Map of the Lolo Fire. The red line was the perimeter at 12:02 a.m. MDT August 19, 2017. The white line was the perimeter 24 hours earlier.

The Lolo Peak fire is being managed as a full suppression fire, but Greg Poncin’s Northern Rockies National Incident Management Team has been describing it as a “long duration wildfire with the potential to reach the corridors of Highway 12 and Highway 93”. Ten structures have burned in the fire.

Lolo Fire
Lolo Fire at 8:14 p.m. MDT August 18, 2017 as seen from the Missoula area. Photo by Jim Loach.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, Bill Gabbert now writes about it from the Black Hills. Google+

5 thoughts on “Lolo Peak Fire causes more evacuations, Highway 12 closed”

  1. 155 members of the Army NAtional guard based in Missoula were activated on Friday and are expecting to be going to work Saturday morning staffing 35 security check points.

  2. There is a need to make responsible logging possible for Montana. This is absolutely unacceptable that forest service will not allow logging of DEAD AND FALLEN lumber simply because it’s national forrest. HOMES, MONEY, LIVELYHOODS, lost simply because logging is no longer aloud. Back burning causing more homes to burn. Millions of dollars spent trying to fix something that could have been prevented. This is absolutely ridiculous and unacceptable.

    1. Try talking to the ones that fight or are opposed to logging on our federal lands. Ask the federal Forresters, who stops to logging on Federal lands. Not the USFS.

  3. Why are we not going to more drastic measures to contain this. I am by no means a expert but it seems we need to make this priority and re cruit as much man power and air support as it takes to start containing this. We can’t lose Lolo.

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