Colt Fire 7/19/23, photo credit Randy Okon

15 acre wildfire reported northwest of Seeley Lake
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: July 20, 2023

Fire Situation: The 15-acre Colt Fire is burning in dense timber with
heavy dead and down fuels northwest of Colt Lake, approximately 15
miles northwest of Seeley Lake. Caused by lightning that came through
the area on Monday, July 17, the fire was detected the morning of
Tuesday, July 18. It is on land managed by the Lolo National Forest but
under Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation fire
protection and is currently 0% contained. Firefighters are working the
perimeter of the fire with chainsaws to create a break in fuels (saw line)
and finding success with aerial resources committed to the fire.
Fire Behavior: Active torching and burning. The fire is located in a
thermal belt and burned actively throughout the night Tuesday and
Weather: Warm and dry conditions are expected over the next few
days. Temperatures will be hovering around 90 with light westerly
winds Thursday. High pressure over the area through the weekend will
strengthen thermal belts, leading to poor humidity recovery overnight.
No precipitation is expected.
Evacuations & Closures: There are no structures threatened,
no evacuations in place, and no closures at this time, HOWEVER,
fire managers request that the public AVOID the Beaver Lake
and Colt Lake areas where crews and resources are actively
Summary: The Colt Fire was started by lightning on Monday, July 17.
Local DNRC and USFS firefighters responded quickly upon detection on
July 18. The fire is 0% contained and on-the-ground resources include
the Bitterroot Interagency Hotshot crew, four engines (USFS-Lolo
National Forest, DNRC-Clearwater, DNRC-Swan, and USFS-Flathead
National Forest), one Type 2 Initial Attack DNRC hand crew, and USFS
Seeley Lake Ranger District personnel. Aviation resources include four
helicopters (two Type 1, one Type 2, and one Type 3), air attack, and
two CL-215 “Super Scoopers” from Idaho. Two single-engine air tankers
(SEATs) dropping retardant have also been used to slow fire
progression. Fire activity has included torching and active consumption
of heavy fuels.
Current Fire Danger & Restrictions: High Fire Danger and no
fire restrictions at this time.

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