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Lost Horse Fire up to 55 Acres, Burning in Rugged Terrain

Lost Horse Fire
Photo courtesy of Todd McKay Discover the Bitterroot/Facebook

The Lost Horse Fire in the Bitterroot is still burning and has grown to 55 acres.

“It started with that lightning storm that we had a week ago that came through the valley,” said Bitterroot National Forest Spokesman Tod McKay. “It was a hold-over fire for a couple days until it got some sun and wind on it. It’s burning about 10 miles southwest of Hamilton, just North of Darby in the Lost Horse drainage, about half way back the canyon.”

The terrain has numerous large boulders making it almost impossible to fight the fire from the ground. McKay says the difficult terrain is the main reason why the fire is still at zero percent containment.

“Folks familiar with the Bitterroot will know that there are quite a few structures and homes up the Lost Horse canyon area, but the fire is many miles form that,” McKay said. “The potential is that we get the winds from the west pushing to the east and that is where those structures are. That’s why the crews are out clearing the trails out and getting out some of that fuel and getting some of  those lines ready if we need to hold the fire there.”

McKay said that they have tried to drop firefighters in by helicopter, but that the terrain was so difficult that the firefighting efforts have shifted to dropping retardant from the air and preventing the fire from jumping to nearby trees.

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