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Forest fire along the Idaho/Montana border burns about 1,500 acres


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Courtesy U.S. Forest Service

SALMON — Officials say a forest fire near the Idaho/Montana border has proven unsafe and difficult over the past 24 hours.

The U.S. Forest Service discovered the Bear Creek Fire burning in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest in Montana around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. As of Wednesday morning, U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Cyd Janssen says the fire has burned an estimated 1,500 acres

“Federal, state and local fire officials responded quickly, but both ground and air engagements were not safe and very difficult due to the active fire behavior and continued Red Flag Warning conditions including high winds, low humidity and a significant amount of dry fuels,” the Forest Service said in a news release.

RELATED | Red flag warning issued for Tuesday due to gusty winds and low humidity

The region remains under a Red Flag warning, which forecasters say will remain in effect through Thursday. These are critical fire conditions, which means new fires are more likely to ignite, and already burning fire may spread rapidly due to the dry and breezy conditions.

While the fire burns in Montana, the large plume of smoke is visible throughout the Lemhi Valley and the area surrounding Salmon. Witnesses can also see smoke along Interstate 15 near Dubois.

RELATED | Forest fire burning along the Idaho/Montana border near Lemhi County

No injuries have been reported and the cause of the fire has not been determined. Firefighters don’t know when the fire will be contained.

About 139 fire personnel are battling the flames right now, including ground and aerial crews. A larger response to the fire is expected to arrive sometime Wednesday. will update this story as it unfolds.

Firefighters prepare to battle the Bear Creek fire burning along the Idaho and Montana border. | Courtesy Cheri Ford, U.S. Forest Service