Posted: Jul 15, 2013 9:26 PM by Mark Thorsell - MTN News
Updated: Jul 15, 2013 9:27 PM
SUPERIOR - The West Mullan fire near Superior keeps growing with fire officials reporting that the blaze has now consumed 700 acres.
Boyd Hartwig with the Lolo National Forest says that 10 to 12 homes were evacuated voluntarily Sunday night, and that fire crews are providing structure protection where needed.
Firefighters began conducting burnout operations on the southwest side of the fire Monday to eliminate fuel, and to provide a buffer zone to protect structures in that area of the fire. Fire managers are also continuing to use aircraft to keep the fire from spreading to the east.
Hartwig reports the West Mullan fire has spotted to the north and helicopters are being used to try to knock down the spot fires.
The blaze, which was first reported at around 5 p.m. on Sunday, is still 0 percent contained. Two crews are on scene along with 12 engines and three helicopters. A trio of additional helicopters have been ordered, as have a pair of Hotshot crews.
There's no word yet on what sparked the fire.
There is a road block set up at Mullan Road and River Ranch Road near Superior. Only fire personnel will be allowed in this area.
Also a slurry bomber and multiple helicopters are dropping water and retardant on the fast moving fire.
Mandatory evacuations are in place for the Flat Creek and Pardee Creek areas. Approximately 30 homes are in these locations.