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Firefighters mop up brush fire south of Hamilton

By Kevin Maki, KECI Reporter, kmaki@keci.com
Published On: Apr 10 2014 09:56:12 PM MDT
Updated On: Apr 10 2014 11:11:43 PM MDT
Firefightgers mop up brush fire near Charlos Heights
HAMILTON, Mont. -

Firefighters spent Thursday mopping up a fire that burned 50 acres of brush and trees on private property south of Hamilton on Wednesday.

It started as a controlled burn that raced out of control, with winds picking up, and forcing the temporary evacuation of two houses.

Crews on Thursday were still wetting down hot spots.

Bitterroot River Lodge owns the wooded and brushy land off Charlos Heights Flats on the Bitterroot River.

Swamp grass, cattails, and trees are tinder fuel.

The fire burned shallow cottonwood tree roots that felled the trees and posed a danger to firefighters.

Hamilton Rural Fire Chief Brad Mohn said if people choose to burn, pay attention to the weather forecast. Afternoon winds are always trouble.

"Start early in the morning," said Mohn. "Be done by noon, take water with you and some hand tools. Be on the safe side."

Mohn said firefighters are paying close attention to high winds that are cropping up on these spring afternoons.