The West Mullan fire that has been burning near Superior since July 14 is now on the downhill side, after nearly a thousand personnel worked the fire and over $7 million dollars has been spent.

Fire Information Officer Pat McKelvey says mop-up activity is producing a little more smoke that usual.

"There was some burning that went on today," McKelvey said. "People are seeing a little more smoke that usual coming off the north end of the fire. Even though we had those containment lines brought together after the night shift, we still had to go in there and burn those pockets of fuel out that were left between the line and the actual fire itself."

McKelvey said the U.S. Forest Service firefighting teams are preparing to hand off the job to local crews.

"We're working with the local district and with the Lolo National Forest to get their turn-back status. We'll see how far into the black do they want this cooled by our forces, and then what do they want left."

The Mineral County Sheriff's office is now actively searching for information as to who started the fire, using a Crimestoppers news release. The fire started near the junction of Mullan Road West and Pardee Creek Road, with a reward offered of $1,000. The fire has cost over $7 million dollars to fight.

West Mullan Fire Information Officer Pat McKelvey