By Griffen Smith
of the Pathfinder 



Griffen Smith, Pathfinder

A Chinook helicopter drops a load of water onto the Colt Fire near Lake Alva. The fire grew over 1,000 acres by July 21 from when it started on July 17. Griffen Smith, Pathfinder

The Colt Fire went from 15 acres Wednesday morning to the largest in Montana by Friday night, burning heavy fuels and encroaching into private land. The strike was started by lightning on July 17.

Firefighters from the Forest Service and the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conversation did initial attack on the blaze, holding it to dead lodgepole stands and limited tree torching.

After two days of smoking out heavy dead and downed lodgepole pines, the fire took off on Thursday, quickly jumping from 15 acres to 100 overnight. Touched subalpine fir trees sent embers far ahead of t...

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