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Crews battle new blazes near Ten Mile fire

Posted at 3:21 PM, Aug 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-13 17:21:00-04

LIBBY – The Ten Mile fire which is burning 18 miles southwest of Eureka is holding at 679 acres and is 30% contained.

However, lightning strikes from a brief thunderstorm started five new fires northeast of the Ten Mile Fire on Saturday. Three of these fires have been named the Sterling Complex and are being managed together with the Ten Mile Fire.

Fire managers report that crews continued to mop up and successfully hold the lines on the Ten Mile Fire. The Swamp Creek Fire was held to one acre and will continue to be monitored.

The Huckleberry and Cliff Fires grew together over the weekend and continued to back downslope to the north. Air Tankers with retardant drops worked to hold the northeast side of the Pinkham Tower Fire. A lightning strike fire north of the Pinkham Fire was detected and equipment and crews worked to construct a line around the fire and hold it to a small size.

Crews and equipment have been shifted around and assigned to all the fires, according to fire managers.

Firefighters working the Ten Mile and Swamp Creek fires will continue to work on mopping up hot spots and holding the fire lines. Firefighters and equipment will look for opportunities to access the Huckleberry/Cliff Fire and identify opportunities to engage the fire when and where it is safe to do so.

A structure group will continue work on structure assessment in the Edna Creek, Lake Creek, and Swamp Creek areas where pre-evacuation notices were issued on Sunday.

Several road and trail closures remain in effect in the area for firefighter and public safety purposes.

Stage I Fire Restrictions remain in effect on the Kootenai National Forest.