9,500 Acres Burned in Lolo Complex Fires - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

9,500 Acres Burned in Lolo Complex Fires

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LOLO CREEK -

Fire crews braced for a red flag warning of lightning and 50 mph winds, as they pushed back on the Lolo Creek Complex fire burning at more than 9,500 acres.

Firefighters are constructing new control lines on the fire's perimeter with the help of nine helicopters, 31 engines and 14 bulldozers. The control lines have helped firefighters reach 30% containment this evening.

More than 500 fire personnel are working to keep the fire west of Sleeman Gulch and north of Highway 12, away from the 1,200 homes in the area.

Crystal Beckman, of Montana DNRC said, "Evacuations are in place for Sleeman Creek and above or north of there, and yesterday certain residents on the west side of Highway 93 and north of Highway 12, they were given a warning and a notice just to be prepared."

Road crews in the Elk Meadows area continue to suppress the fire and hold lines from Wednesday's burnout operation.

Fire officials estimate the total cost to fight the Lolo Creek Complex at $850,000.

A public meeting will take place Thursday at 8 p.m. in the lower gym of Lolo School.

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