UPDATE --- 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, August 2.

The Missoula County Coroner has been called out to the Lolo Peak Fire to investigate a fatality. They are coordinating with the incident management team to conduct that investigation.

It was just a few weeks ago that a Missoula firefighter, Trenton Johnson was killed when a burning snag fell on him while fighting a fire near Seeley Lake.


Leigh Golding, information officer with the Lolo Peak Fire, reported at about 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday that a firefighter had been injured while working on the fire.

"Early this afternoon, a firefighter was struck by a tree and is being airlifted off the hill and taken to a Missoula hospital," Golding said. She had no other information as to the firefighter's age, gender, hometown, or the severity of the injury.

Golding said the winds that blew through Missoula throughout the day had very little effect on the Lolo Peak Fire.

"We haven't heard much about how the wind is affecting the fire," she said. "I was asked that question earlier, and the wind was blowing, but I didn't see any activity on the hill. As of late this afternoon the fire was 6,302 acres in size, there are 393 people working the fire and we've dropped 178,000 gallons of retardant. We've also been using water from lakes in the Bitterroot for spot fires."

Golding said there have been no further Stage One evacuation warnings in the past 24 hours.

She said the fire, now in steep, rugged terrain, will probably continue burning until a season ending event occurs, such as continuous heavy rain or eventually, snow.



Fire Information Officer Jill Cobb said the Sunrise Fire had increased about 900 acres from Tuesday through Wednesday.

"The fire is now about 10,800 acres in size and we're still at about five percent containment," Cobb said. "We're going after the fire aggressively to make sure it stays away from homes and other structures. The Stage Three evacuations remain in place for Quartz Creek, Quartz Flats, Sunrise and Verde. The evacuation center was established on the first night, but no one is using it because they've all moved in with friends or family."

Cobb said the people of Superior have been very good to the firefighting crews and officials.

"They're understandably concerned, but they've been exceptionally kind and gracious to our team," she said. "These people are just wonderful to work with and we're just very happy that we could help them."

Cobb said the Sunrise Fire will also keep burning until a season ending event occurs, such as continuous rain or snowfall.

She made a special point of asking drivers not to slow down and take photos of the fire as they drive along Interstate 90, as that behavior places other drivers and firefighting personnel at risk.

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