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Two Wilderness Fires Grow, Send More Smoke to Bitterroot

Sunset over Bitterroots west of Hamilton September 10. (Mike Daniels, Townsquare Media)

In the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, the Hidden forest fire and the Chute Creek forest fire were active Sunday, according to Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest officials.

The Chute Creek Fire, west of Blodgett Lake, made a “0.7 mile run” Sunday and brings the total acreage to 3,683 acres, measured by an infrared flight Sunday night.

The lightning-caused fire was detected August 13 and is 8 miles southeast of Elk Summit Guard Station. It had been fairly inactive during the past week.

The Hidden Fire has spotted over into the the Fred Burr Creek drainage. Still in the wilderness, the fire grew by over 700 acres Sunday and is now 12,157 acres in size. The Sunday advance was on the northwest part of the blaze, crossing Big Sand Creek. On the southwest part, the fire grew in Big Flat Creek. About 10 acres is burning in the Fred Burr canyon. Helicopters were able to drop water on that portion of the Hidden fire this weekend.

There were quite a few new lightning-caused fires on the Nez Perce-Clearwater Forest, following last week’s storm and that adds to the smoke coming out of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness into western Montana.

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