Murray fire near Helmville now listed at 53 acres | Local

The estimated size of the Murray Fire 12 miles southwest of Helmville was reduced to 53 acres early Tuesday, officials said.

Earlier estimates had the fire at 75 acres.

The fire, which was reported around 7 a.m. Monday, is now being handled as a Type 3 incident with 24 people at the scene, the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation said. Fire behavior is active.

The DNRC said Tuesday’s goals were to keep fire growth to a minimum by using aircraft to slow the progress of the fire while ground crews prepare to engage once winds and fire behavior will have calmed down.

The fire, named after nearby Murray Creek and managed under DNRC command, is 0% contained and the cause is undetermined. It’s in a steep area with limited access, and early firefighting on Monday was by helicopters and large air tankers. The fire is on Bureau of Land Management property under the protection of the DNRC

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In Type 3 incidents, organizations manage early fires with a significant number of resources until containment/control is achieved.

Associate Editor Phil Drake can be reached at 406-231-9021.

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