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Garceau Fire west of Polson grows to 1,500 acres

by DERRICK PERKINS
Hagadone News Network | August 17, 2022 10:30 AM

A new wildfire that sprung up in the Polson area on Tuesday has grown to roughly 1,500 acres.

About 110 firefighters were working the Garceau Fire, which is located about 10 air miles from Polson, according to officials with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Division of Fire. The blaze was listed as human-caused by the Northern Rockies Coordination Center (NRCC) as of Wednesday morning.

Heavy air tankers, single engine air tankers and helicopters were called upon in the initial attack while ground equipment was deployed to build control lines. Crews were employing a full suppression management strategy, NRCC officials said.

The wildfire, burning through timber and grass, is listed as 0% contained. NRCC officials described it as exhibiting “extreme fire behavior with uphill runs and group torching.”

The blaze, due west of Polson, is not threatening any structures, officials said. Irvine Flats Road toward Windy Gap is closed to through traffic.

Smoke from the fire could be seen from Hot Springs.

Thus far, the blaze has cost an estimated $300,000 to fight, according to NRCC.

The nearby Elmo 2 Fire, which began in late July and was also deemed human-caused, is at 21,349 acres and is considered 76% contained. That fire has destroyed eight structures and cost about $15 million to fight.