Posted: Jul 23, 2013 12:09 PM by Dennis Bragg - MTN News
HAMILTON - A lightning-caused fire in the Bitterroot backcountry has now consumed about 2,000 acres of timber and continues to grow.
However, because the fire is in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, the blaze is only being monitored and is being allowed to burn naturally.
The blaze is believed to have started during a passing thunderstorm on July 16 and is burning in the mountains about 35 miles southwest of Sula.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, the fire isn't burning near any structures, although it is within a quarter mile of the Magruder Road corridor.
Traffic is now being allowed along the road, but it may be closed depending on how the fire grows.
The fire is burning in steep, rocky and rugged terrain. The main concern continues to be the hot temperatures and very low humidity, which has been running as low as 7%.
The USFS is continuing to monitor the fire by adjoining lookouts and also overflights from the air.