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Crews battling Hog Trough, Fuse Lake fires

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Hog Trough Fire Map
Posted at 9:38 AM, Aug 17, 2022

HAMILTON - Crews are continuing to battle the Hog Trough and Fuse Lake fires in the Bitterroot National Forest.

The blazes — which were both sparked by lightning — have burned a combined 1,287 acres.

The Hog Trough Fire is 71% contained while the Fuse Lake Fire is 0% contained.

The fires are burning in rugged and remote terrain 18 miles southeast of Hamilton.

No structures are currently threatened.

Fire managers report the Hog Trough Fire remained active on Tuesday, producing smoke visible from the Bitterroot Valley.

The southeast portion of the fire was most active, primarily burning dead and down fuels within the current perimeter and a previously burned area.

The fire is slowly backing down the Weasel Creek drainage.

Helicopters dropped water throughout the day to cool the fire and enable crews on the ground to have better access to directly attack the fire.

The Fuse Lake Fire was also active on Tuesday as it burns in steep and rocky ground with an abundance of hazard trees.

Type 1 and 2 helicopters provided bucket drops while ground crews constructed direct fire line where safely able to do so.

There are 151 people assigned to the fires.

Forest Service 75 (Skalkaho-Rye) Road is currently closed from the junction of Skalkaho Highway to near the Skalkaho Creek Trailhead. Forest Service 5071 Road is closed.

There are 139 people assigned to the Hog Trough Fire.

Road Closures:

  • Skalkaho Road (Forest Service road 75) and Forest Service road 711 are both closed at the junction of Skalkaho Highway, including the ancillary roads leading from the 711 Road.
  • Skalkaho Road is open past Mile Marker 5 (Skalkaho Creek-Jerry Lake Trailhead #503).
  • Forest Service roads 5070 and 5071 are closed.

Trail Closures:

  • Railroad Creek, National Forest System Trail #77 to Trail #313 at the gate.
  • Weasel Creek, National Forest System Trail #156 from milepost 0.00 at its junction with NFSR #461.
  • A section of the Bitterroot Rock Creek Divide Trail #313, National Forest System Trail #313 where it intersects Trail #77 Railroad Creek, Weasel Creek Trail #156.
  • Skalkaho Creek – Jerry Lake Trail #503, National Forest System Trail #503

Stage II fire restrictions went into effect Friday morning on all Bitterroot National Forest lands in Montana.