'Fire explodes to 3,500 acres'
Jun 15, 2013
Yesterday I decided to follow Tanzy's advice to visit the St. Ignatius Mission on the Flathead Indian Reservation in northwestern Montana, so instead of heading north from Great Falls I drove east along Montana-200 to Missoula - another scenic drive with many fine views. When I checked in at the KOA I heard that Highway 12 between Lolo, just south of Missoula, and the Idaho border had been closed because of a forest fire. We could see a huge smoke cloud towards the southeast that lingered for several hours but was gone this morning. The fire was top news in the local newspaper, the Missoulian (missoulian.com). 4 to 8 houses were destroyed but fortunately no one was injured. The fire is now under control. There have been other fires east of Missoula - which are also under control. A staffer here at the KOA told me that there was a big fire in 2003 that destroyed 27 miles of forest along Hwy-93 to the south. The traces are still visible. We haven't had rain for a long time, so I guess it's forest fire season. Shortly I'll be headed north towards St. Ignatius and Glacier, and hopefully I'll be out of harms way.