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Fire Updates: Saddle Complex & West Riverside–Arson Suspected

fire smokeDuring the Saddle Complex blowup Monday evening.  Photo taken from Hamilton by our buddy Steve Fullerton

The jump in size Monday night on the Saddle Complex of forest fires was not repeated Tuesday. The growth was small in comparison, but the blaze is still growing. As of Tuesday morning, the estimated size is 18,275 acres. A helicopter, 13 engines and over a hundred people are on the fire.
No structures have been lost in the fire.
Both the Salmon-Challis and the Bitterroot National Forests are managing the fire.
Idaho officials expect the fire to move toward the Owl Creek drainage – to the south and east.
Montana officials hope to keep the fire south of Alta and Hughes Creek. Road closures are in effect in both forests. In Montana, roads are closed south of Hugh Creek Road #9630. There is closure south of Chicken creek Trail all the way to Reynolds Lake on the Idaho border.

5-Valley Crimestoppers has released a poster asking for any information as to who may be responsible for possible arson in the West

Picture From Emily Skeels

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Riverside Fire. I spoke with Missoula County Sheriff’s Detective and Public Information Officer Jason Johnson about the poster. That interview is attached.

Crimestoppers is offering a reward of up to $1000 for any information that may lead to whoever started this fire, and you may remain anonymous. The number is 721-44-44.

2nd story from 6 hours ago…
umm well he posted it but there is not audio even though it says there is….here is mine from the AP

Wednesday’s Update On West Riverside Fire

c/o Eric Seitz

Firefighters say the threat to nearby homes has been reduced from a 2,000 acre wildfire east of Missoula.

Crews were putting out hot spots and patrolling the area near the 40 threatened homes in West Riverside, near the confluence of the Blackfoot and Clark Fork rivers.

No evacuations have been ordered and no structures have been damaged. Incident commander Ken Parks says the imminent threat to the homes has been greatly diminished. The West Riverside blaze is one of more than 10 active wildfires in the state.Two of the largest fires are burning in the Flathead National Forest. Both are in remote areas, and fire officials closed trails and set up protection measures for a cabin and two bridges.

Another wildfire in northeastern Idaho spread to over 18,000 acres and crossed the Montana line into Ravalli County.

Story from AP

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