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Homes destroyed in Lolo fire blow up

Dennis Bragg photo(LOLO)- Authorities say some structures, including homes, were destroyed when two fires burning up Lolo Canyon merged into a complex fire covering more than 3500-acres.

High winds and low humidity helped the West Fork 2 Fire jump Highway 12 near Bear Creek this afternoon, merging with the Schoolhouse Fire. Both blazes are believed to have started during a brief thunderstorm late Saturday night. 

Dozens of people have been evacuated, while others have been placed on alert. All homes between Bear Creek and Sleeman Creek have been placed under a pre-evacuation notice.

DNRC says there's a "very high potential" for fire growth on the Lolo Complex Fire with more red flag warnings up for Tuesday afternoon.

Highway 12 remained closed to through traffic west of Lolo.

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