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Fire officials focus efforts on containing north side of Lolo Complex

Published On: Aug 27 2013 10:27:22 PM MDT   Updated On: Aug 27 2013 10:30:05 PM MDT
Fire officials focus efforts on containing north side of Lolo Complex

Residents living near the Lolo Creek Complex can rest a little easier - at least for the time being.

We were at the public meeting Tuesday evening as the Missoula County Sheriff's Office announced residents who were previously told to standby to evacuate, are no longer under that status.

Fire bosses tell us residents still need to pay close attention to their surroundings and incoming weather because shifting winds can change the fire's path very quickly.

Fire officials report that the Lolo Complex remains 60 percent contained, however they say that last 40 percent is in steep, rugged terrain at the north part of the fire -- and that's where they will continue to focus their efforts.

Fire Operations Manager Brent Olson tells NBC Montana the idea is to stop the fire from spreading north.  

“This is rugged country so it takes a lot of effort,” he says.  “We've got lines pretty much completed on the northwest corner and on the northeast corner so that last area that remains is Woodman Gulch right in the center.”

Fire officials tell us right now the blaze is nearing 11,000 acres and crew members are hopeful they can patch together the west and east containment lines so they can begin a more strenuous suppression effort.

At Tuesday’s meeting DNRC officials told us they need Lolo residents, who had crews or equipment stationed on their property to call the DNRC office and give their name, number and address.

DNRC officials tell NBC Montana this is so people can be contacted while suppression and mop-up efforts continue - that number is (406) 542-4300.