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Crews finish fire line on Lolo Creek Complex as residents continue to survey wreckage

By Scott Zoltan, KECI Reporter, szoltan@keci.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 02:46:42 AM MST
Updated On: Aug 29 2013 06:50:07 PM MDT
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Crews at the Lolo Creek Complex Fire report that a fire line has been built around the entire blaze, though the containment remains at 60 percent. Crews must mop up at least a hundred feet past a fire line for that area to be included in the overall containment figure.

The size is currently reported to be 10,902 acres, with 882 crewmembers working the blaze. The fire is estimated to be contained by Tuesday, September 3.

Crews have been focusing on the north flank of the fire in the Woodman Creek and Camp Creek drainages, near the Sawmill Gulch area. A wind event is in the forecast for Friday, so teams have been working to pack in as much progress as possible. A special concern is that the fire still poses a threat to the BPA power line located a mile south of Blue Mountain area.

Meanwhile, residents continued to sift through wreckage brought about by the fire. Five homes have been confirmed destroyed by the blaze.

Shari Cooper’s own house was left standing, but on the family property, a house her husband helped build with this three bothers after their dad passed away had turned to rubble, along with a mobile home his mother has been living in.

“My husband's lived on the property for fifteen years and he's taken care of his mom and his dad and it’s really not easy watching him see it,” said Cooper.

Down the street, a semi-retired photographer told NBC Montana how a trailer full of cameras, lenses, and transparents of his photography went up in flames.

“It's a terrible loss really, because, that stuff can’t be replaced,” said Peter Clarke.