Rain dampens some fires, misses others, causes landslides

Weekend rain and cool temperatures delivered mixed fortunes to western Montana and central Idaho wildfires: The rain dampened some blazes, failed to wet others, and in Idaho created landslides in a burn scar that stranded rafters on the Salmon River. 

The Niarada fire sparked by lightning July 30 was 18,366 acres and 7% contained on Monday morning. Some weekend precipitation tempered fire activity over the weekend as the fire’s southeast front burns toward Marion Lane and Loon Lake south of Elmo. Northern Rockies Team 3, a national-level complex incident management team, took command of the fire Wednesday. The team is also overseeing the 2,135-acre lightning-caused Mill Pocket fire immediately west of the Niarada fire. Light precipitation and cool temperatures through the middle of the week were expected to reduce fire spread, according to an update Monday, but drier, warmer conditions toward the weekend could foment an increase in fire activity. 

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