Posted: Aug 20, 2013 2:51 PM by Dennis Bragg - MTN News
LOLO - Fire crews are ready for another afternoon of strong winds as they attempt to keep the huge Lolo Complex Fire from burning through more forest on Tuesday afternoon.
The fire, which started as two separate lightning-caused blazes over the weekend, merged Monday afternoon when gusty winds and extremely low humidity drove the storm east down Lolo Creek.
The fire grew to 5,000 acres in just 24 hours, including an area where crews conducted burnout operations.
The National Weather Service has predicted this afternoon could almost be a "carbon copy" of yesterday, so fire crews with the Montana DNRC and Lolo National Forest have been gearing up for another busy afternoon and evening.
DNRC spokeswoman Cindy Super told MTN the fire has stayed very active through the morning hours, although an inversion limited visibility.
She said crews used the morning hours to make as much progress as possible in getting some perimeter lines around the flames.