MISSOULA, Mont. -

The following is a press release from the Bitterroot National Forest:

Narrative:  The Three Mile fire located east of Florence on state land did not grow in size overnight.  The quick response yesterday by fire crews on the ground and multiple aircraft (3 helicopters – 2 SEATS) is credited with keeping the blaze in check and from growing larger.  The bucket work by helicopters and the retardant drops were very effective in suppressing fire activity.   

The fire is burning in grass and timber on the Three Mile Wildlife Area, managed by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.  Firefighters remained on the fire overnight and are continuing to build fire line today and work toward full containment.  Crews on scene were able to hold the fire overnight and there has been no fire growth since yesterday afternoon when 90 degree temperatures contributed to very active fire behavior.          

Current Size:  Estimated 48 acres  Containment:  0%

Resources on Fire:  Lolo Hotshot crew, 4 engines from the Bitterroot National Forest.  Multiple aircraft is available again today if needed.  Total personnel assigned to the fire is 48.  Engines from the Stevensville, Florence, and Three Mile rural fire departments assisted in initial attack efforts yesterday.   

Air Statistics:  The three helicopters working on the Three Mile fire dumped an estimated 20,000 gallons of water on the fire yesterday.  The two single engine air tankers dumped more than 6,000 gallons of fire retardant to keep the fire from spreading.  

Cause:  Unknown, under investigation

Today’s Plan:  Fire managers will take advantage of lower temperatures today to reinforce fire lines and mop up the interior of the fire.  Cooler temperatures and higher humidity’s are expected to result in decreased fire behavior today. 

Closures:  There is no threat to structures or closures at this time.