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Friday evening fire wrap-up for western Montana

By KECI Staff
Published On: Aug 02 2013 10:39:41 PM MDT
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Thursday's rain and subsequent cooler temperatures Friday helped crews gain progress on the Gold Pan Complex burning 35 miles southwest of Darby in the Bitterroot National Forest along the Idaho-Montana state line.

Fire officials report a large spot fire north of Magruder Road is expected to grow northward as warmer weather returns.

The complex has now burned 16,330 acres. All Forest Service roads and trails in the area are closed.

A hotline is available for area residents. You can call (406) 349-0163 for fire information.

Crews at the Moose Meadow Fire southeast of Philipsburg were also able to take advantage of weather conditions, and improve containment to 40 percent.

Firefighters have extended fire lines and worked to mop up portions of the burned area.

That blaze has now scorched 3,400 acres.

The Firestone Flats Fire, burning 6 miles east of Arlee is now 100 percent contained. Officials say they have begun demobilizing equipment and crews, and will transition to local units for continued management efforts.

Jocko Canyon Road reopened at 5 p.m. Friday. The P2000 and P3000 (Pistol Creek Road) roads are still closed.

Fire officials say that blaze burned an estimated 1,570 acres.