Crews attack fires near Libby

  • Source: Kalispell Daily Interlake
  • Published: 07/19/2018 04:52 PM

A wildfire 4 miles northwest of Libby reached 30 acres in less than three hours Thursday afternoon, potentially threatening power transmission lines and requiring the precautionary deployment of a specially trained and equipped firefighting team as the fire moved to within 1.5 miles of a former vermiculite mine. Firefighters from Libby Volunteer Fire Department and the U.S. Forest Service fought the blaze from the ground, while about half a dozen helicopters and planes, including a so-called very large air tanker, dropped water and retardant from the sky, Libby District Ranger Nate Gassmann reported at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. “We’re giving it everything we have,” he said, noting that additional resources, including a 20-person hotshot crew, were on order and expected later in the evening or by Friday morning. The fire, reported on the north side of Route 37 about 4 p.m., “saw significant growth” in its first half hour, Gassmann said.


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