Outbuilding burns in latest wildfire

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One outbuilding has been burned in the latest wildfire to ignite in the Kootenai National Forest.

The Seventeen Mile fire was reported 4:39 p.m. Wednesday near the intersection of Seventeen Mile Road and Yaak River Road, according to the Kootenai Interagency Dispatch Center website.

A Thursday incident report put the fire’s size at 20.5 acres, containment at 10 percent and location about 20 miles south of Yaak. The primary fuels are grass, timber and “blow down,” the report states.

Sixty people were reported assigned to the fire, which is being managed by the Three Rivers District of the Kootenai National Forest. In addition to U.S. Forest service firefighters, the initial response included volunteer firefighters and one helicopter.

“Isolated torching and flanking was experienced during the initial attack stages,” the report states. “Fire crews remained overnight constructing handline, putting in hose lays and mopping up near the residence.”

An additional helicopter was assigned to the fire Thursday, as well as “miscellaneous engines, water tenders and crews,” the report states.

The fire had burned one outbuilding yet no home were reported lost as of Thursday.

“Fire personnel were able protect the residential structures near the fires edge,” the report states. “No evacuation notices have been issued.”

The fire was reported to be “smoldering and creeping with some isolate torching in the interior and on the top western edge” on Thursday, when crews were expected to “continue to improve handlines, set up support equipment, and begin mop up operations where needed.”

Fire officials warned residents to use caution when driving and recreating to avoid firefighters and equipment in the area.

Also on Thursday, authorities lifted a closure order that had been in place for the vicinity of the Gold Hill fire north of Libby.

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