More handcrews added to fight Moors Mountain fire north of Helena

Phil Drake

The Moors Mountain fire remained at 94 acres early Thursday, with officials saying warm temperatures and lower humidity levels have led to an increase in fire activity.

Two more hand crews were brought in by helicopter, bringing the total to four.

The lightning-caused fire in the Gates of the Mountains Wilderness was reported about 3:50 p.m. Saturday, and 189 personnel are assigned to the blaze.

The Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest said more than 80 firefighters would be back on the mountain Thursday as they continue to work toward containment.

They said the Pike Hotshots and two Grayback Forestry hand crews were able Wednesday to complete a saw line along the northern perimeter of the fire by trimming and removing vegetation.

Thursday, the crews will begin building a handline that will follow the saw line.

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The Helena Regulars handcrew will continue mop up operations along the southern edge of the fire perimeter to remove remaining heat along the control lines put in place by the Missoula Smokejumpers during the initial attack of the fire.

Crews are working to establish and strengthen these lines ahead of potentially gusty winds

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