Condon Mountain Fire keeps growing

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The Condon Mountain Fire was burning actively Saturday as it backed down the mountain in this view from Montana 83.

The Condon Mountain Fire above the Swan Valley continued to grow over the weekend and now covers 4,240 acres.

The lightning-caused fire just west of the Bob Marshall Wilderness has been burning since July 28, most recently on its southern and western flanks. 

The fire gained new life in recent days and has doubled its size in the past week.

Firefighting efforts have been concentrated on preventing the fire from burning downslope into the populated Swan Valley. About 190 people are assigned to the Condon Mountain Fire, which so far has cost $4.1 million for firefighting efforts.

The closest structures are about 1 1/2 miles from the fire’s western perimeter and residents are in a “ready” stage for evacuation, but so far there have been no evacuations.

The area around the fire, particularly to the east and south, has been closed to public use.

The closure affects some trails on the Swan Mountain Range. There is a temporary flight restriction for the area and the Condon airstrip is closed to all non-fire aircraft until further notice.

Meanwhile, there are three fires burning on the Mission Mountain Range, the most significant being the 600-acre Whitehorse Lake Fire. The fire had burned within 300 yards of the Jocko Lookout and prompted the closure of the Jocko Lookout Road to allow for burnout operations to help protect the lookout, along with retardant drops.

The Mollman Fire has burned about 150 acres in the Missions east of Ronan, and the 65-acre Schley Creek Fire has been burning in the Missions but has been limited by rocky terrain.

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Division of Fire is handling these three fires. 

As the Condon Mountain Fire continues to expand, the area around the fire has been closed. This map shows the fire boundaries and the closed area.

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