Firefighters attack new fire in wilderness

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Firefighters have been hitting a new fire in the Bob Marshall Wilderness hard since it was detected Wednesday morning.

The Dart Creek Fire is about 10 acres, burning in the Big Salmon Creek drainage about seven miles upstream from Big Salmon Lake. 

It is burning in heavy timber, and has grown only about two acres since it was detected — largely because of the firefighting resources that have been thrown at it, said Jim Flint, assistant fire management officer on the Spotted Bear Ranger District.

“They’re using the helicopters and the scoopers to keep it down,” Flint said, referring to the Canadair CL-215 “Super Scoopers” that have been based at Glacier Park International Airport recently.

Ten smokejumpers dropped in on the fire and another six had to be flown in by helicopter because of dangerous wind conditions. A 10-person crew from the Gila National Forest in New Mexico and nine local firefighters also were flown to the fire by helicopter.

A medium and a heavy helicopter also are working the fire with water bucket drops. The Super Scoopers have been picking up water out of the south end of Hungry Horse Reservoir and delivering it to the fire.

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