Fire at Holter Lake: 3,000 acres overnight

A fire on the east side of Holter Lake, north of Helena, Montana, will likely be a “long duration” fire, and it’s grown to 3,000 acres in just a day. The Indian Trail Fire started Wednesday alongside the lake, at the Indian Trails Marina, and evacuated the Log Gulch campground. Several RVs were burned; the fire’s about 6 miles east of Wolf Creek.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality reported that it was hazy in Great Falls, north of the fire, and visibility was down to 7 miles at the airport.

Five helicopters, three airtankers, and six crews are working the fire today, and fire managers hope to keep the fire away from the shoreline homes, the campground, and the Beartooth Game Range. KPAX-TV reported that about 30 homes are threatened. Beartooth Road was closed at the Lodge, according to Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton; residents beyond that point were escorted in to their homes. According to a report in the Helena Independent Record, the incident command post for Tom Heintz’s Type II team is being established at the Oxbow Ranch, and a public meeting is scheduled for 7:30 tonight at the Craig School.

A fire in July 2007 burned over 46,000 acres south of Holter Lake, not far from the current Indian Trail Fire. The Meriwether Fire burned mostly in the Gates of the Mountains Wilderness east of Mann Gulch. There’s a great shot of a cloud formation apparently created by the Meriwether Fire [HERE].

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