Fire west of Alberton moves into 2005 burn area

2013-07-11T08:17:00Z 2013-07-11T15:10:06Z Fire west of Alberton moves into 2005 burn areaBy ROB CHANEY Missoulian The Billings Gazette
July 11, 2013 8:17 am  • 

MISSOULA — The Black Bear fire west of Alberton has moved into territory that previously burned in 2005, allowing crews to reach 60 percent containment Wednesday.

The lightning-caused fire has burned 80 acres and hasn’t grown much since Tuesday, according to Lolo National Forest spokesman Boyd Hartwig.

“They’re reinforcing some of the hand line today,” Hartwig said Wednesday afternoon. “They’re not getting inside the perimeter much because there’s a big snag hazard there.”

Smoke can be seen from Interstate 90 as the fire works through cheatgrass and scattered ponderosa pine timber in the ridges west of town. A crew of 60 backed up with a helicopter for water drops is working in steep terrain.

“When it started, we thought it was a fire we could contain with three or four folks,” Hartwig said. “But once the wind got on it, it really took off.”

Hartwig said several small fires were also burning in the Ninemile, Seeley Lake and Missoula ranger districts, but all were submitting to small initial attack teams.

Copyright 2015 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

More from the Gazette

Woman denies assault charges

3 hours agoLoading…

ATM taken from Polson bank

4 hours agoLoading…
Work on collapsed building stalled before judge

Work on collapsed building stalled before judge

8 hours agoLoading…
Work on collapsed Butte building stalled before judge

Work on collapsed Butte building stalled before judge

9 hours agoLoading…

Teen transient could face 100 years for raping unconscious woman

10 hours agoLoading…

Follow The Billings Gazette

Popular Stories

Get weekly ads via e-mail

Deals & Offers

Featured Businesses