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Lightning starts new fires near Missoula

(MISSOULA)- Fires from lightning storms that have swept through Western Montana in the past week are starting to show up, with crews on the Lolo National Forest spotting several new starts in the past couple of days. 

Firefighters and aircraft have responded to several new fire starts on the Superior and Ninemile Ranger districts.

The largest fire, the Freeze Out Fire, is approximately two acres and located near Prospect Mountain 15 miles south of Slowey Campground on the Superior Ranger District. Resources responding to that fire Thursday included three helicopters and three Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATs). Firefighters are also hiking into the fire, which is reported to be burning on the upper one-third of a slope and showing active fire behavior.

Firefighters also responded to two other fires on the Superior Ranger District that were quickly suppressed with helicopter bucket drops and with firefighters on the ground. Both of those fires have remained less than one acre and still have firefighters assigned to them.

On the Ninemile Ranger District firefighters and aircraft responded to a new fire 13 miles North of Tarkio near Horsehead Peak. Three SEATs and three engines responded to the fire and suppression efforts have been successful so far in stopping fire progression.

No structures are threatened by any of the recent fires and no closures are in place for these fires.

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