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Idaho and Montana Fires May Burn Until Cold Weather

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MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Fires in western Montana and Idaho are likely to keep burning until “season-ending” weather comes, though progress on the Lolo Creek Complex has allowed some residents back home.

Forecasters say cooler weather is forecast for this coming weekend, but there’s no guarantee of a big rain or cold weather. The Lolo Complex was 47 percent contained Monday after burning more than 17 square miles. And though some residents are returning home or checking damage, fire officials say the threat from the fire is far from over.

The fire poses “an immediate threat” to a 500-kilovolt Bonneville Power Administration power line a mile south of Blue Mountain, and if the fire becomes established in Woodman Creek Basin, it’d threaten hundreds of residences. U.S. Highway 12 has reopened after being closed last week. The Gold Pan Complex burning in rugged terrain is zero percent contained. It’s burned more than 59 square miles.

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