Lost Horse Fire near Hamilton grows slightly overnight


MISSOULA, Mont. - The following is a press release from the Lolo National Forest:

The Lost Horse fire located ten miles southwest of Hamilton in the Bitterroot Mountains near Brandy Peak, grew slightly overnight.  The quick response yesterday by fire managers and two helicopters is credited with keeping the blaze in check and from growing much larger.  The bucket work by helicopters was very effective in suppressing fire activity. 

The fire is burning in extremely steep, rugged, and rocky terrain, near the top of the ridge - making it inaccessible on foot for firefighters.  As temperatures warm today, the fire will likely produce some smoke visible from Hamilton and the surrounding area.         

 Current Size:  Estimated 7 acres     Containment:  0%

 Resources on Fire:  There are currently 2 helicopters assigned to the fire and an additional third helicopter has been ordered.  A SEAT (single engine air tanker) equipped to drop fire retardant or suppressants is available and may be ordered, if needed.  

 Rappellers from Salmon, Idaho (specially trained firefighters that slide down ropes from hovering helicopters to access remote fires) have been released after determining there was no safe place for them to land and access the fire.   

 Terrain:  Extremely steep, rocky, and inaccessible terrain, with spotty fuels. 

 Today's Plan:  Continue suppression efforts and bucket work by helicopters, working towards containment.

 Fire Activity:  Creeping with some isolated torching

 Safety Concerns:  Safety of firefighters is always a primary concern.  The fire is burning in steep terrain, posing a safety risk to firefighters and making building conventional fire line ineffective.  The rocky terrain is helping slow fire activity.  The fuels, difficult access, and a warming trend in the weather this week, are all concerns on this fire. 

 Closures:  There is no immediate threat to structures or closures at this time.  For the latest fire information and maps visit

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