Wildfire Updates – Morrell Complex and Wildhorse Point Fires [YouTube]
Fires burning to the east and west of Missoula are contributing to the smoke covering the Missoula and Bitterroot valleys.
The Wildhorse Point Fire is burning just a few miles from Frenchtown. DNRC Public Information Officer Jordan Koppen said the fire is now over 70 acres in size.
"The guys out there have really been doing an amazing job," Koppen said. "Right now (Monday morning) the fire is at about 75 acres, there's about 140 personnel on the fire. It's under unified command from the Ninemile Ranger District and the DNRC, and that seems to be going very well at this point."
Koppen said the smoke in the Missoula valley is coming from a number of sources.
The Morrell Complex was three fires that have merged into two separate blazes burning not far from Seeley Lake, according to Lolo National Forest spokesman Boyd Hartwig.
"The two fires total about 380 acres," Hartwig said. "No structures have been threatened. Actually, the fire's in a pretty good place. The strategy is going to be to herd the fire away from Seeley Lake and Highway 83, and move it to the northeast. A new team is coming in and control of that fire will transition over to them."
Koppen said campers, hikers and recreationists need to remember that Stage One Restrictions are still in place throughout western Montana as fire danger remains Very High.