Updated: Fire closes Garnet Ghost Town as smoke increases

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Wildfire smoke filling the Missoula valley on Friday kept pollutant levels at the “unhealthy for sensitive groups” or “unhealthy” warning most of the day, with similar conditions expected for the weekend.

ANTONIO IBARRA Missoulian Rob Chaney

A new fire in the forest near Garnet Ghost Town helped confound weekend plans across western Montana as smoke inversions reached unhealthy levels on Friday.

The Bureau of Land Management temporarily closed the historic site and surrounding area for public safety and to clear roads for firefighters. The closure order affects most of the southwestern portion of the Garnet Mountains, from Elevation Mountain on the northeast to I-90 on the south.

Some major landmarks within this closed area are Garnet Ghost Town, Garnet Range Road, Elevation Mountain, Douglas Creek, Mulkey Gulch, Bear Gulch, Deep Creek, Elk Creek, Gambler Gulch, First Chance Gulch, Cave Gulch and Top O’ Deep, and Keno and Kennedy roads.

Known as the Anderson Hill Fire, the blaze is estimated at 1,000 acres and overlaps parts of Missoula, Granite and Powell

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