Reinforcements arrive in as Lolo fire threat rises

MISSOULA COUNTY

Associated Press
POSTED: 11:58 AM Aug 22 2013
LOLO, Mont. -

Reinforcements have arrived to help halt the spread of wildfires in western Montana that are threatening 1,200 homes.
    
Fire information officer Mike Cole said Thursday the number of people assigned to the Lolo Creek Complex has jumped from 260 to 508 since it topped the nation's priority list.
    
That includes Montana National Guard troops assigned to relieve local authorities at roadblocks, along with additional air and engine support.
    
Cole says threat of the fires spreading Thursday is high, with dry thunderstorms expected to bring wind gusts of up to 50 mph.
    
Crews are digging a fire line and mopping up the previous day's burn operations to protect threatened homes in the Sleeman Gulch area west of Lolo.
    
Since Sunday, the fires have burned 9,500 acres, or nearly 15 square miles.