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Smoke Continues and New Forest Fire Found in Bitterroot

sun and smoke
The sun behind the smoke recently. (KLYQ Photo)

Smoke continues to pour into the Bitterroot Valley from forest fires in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. The main smoke producers are the Powell SBW East Complex with the Cedar and Fern Fires and a number of fires south of there in the Moose Creek Ranger District of the wilderness.

Smoke continues to float up from the Mustang Complex of fires along the Salmon River in the Salmon-Challis National Forest.

Bitterroot National Forest firefighters have tackled a new 3-acre fire up the Tin Cup southwest of Darby. The fire was discovered Friday afternoon, according to Public Affairs officer Tod McKay. The blaze is in steep, rugged and rocky terrain about 4 miles southwest of Darby and no structures are threatened.

Three helicopters began using buckets to drop water on the fire and two air tankers have been dropping retardant. McKay said strong, gusty winds are expected until late Friday night. There are no road or trail closures yet.

In what has become a recurring problem this year, another abandoned campfire was found on the Bitterroot National Forest. This one was in the Sapphire Mountains on the east side of the valley, in the 3 Mile area east of Stevensville. It was not in an approved campfire pit and was not completely out when firefighters found it. A reminder – Stage 1 Fire Restrictions prohibit any campfires, except in Forest Service Campgrounds in appproved fire pits.


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