Cooler temperatures and some much needed precipitation encouraged some evacuations to be lifted in Missoula and Mineral counties.

The West Fork Fish Creek Fire is currently burning at around 12,283 acres with zero percent containment, but preliminary evacuations were rescinded at around noon on Thursday along Petty Creek Road for Missoula County.

Inciweb reported yesterday:

...firefighters extinguished hot spots and patrolled areas of structure protection for changes.The northeast corner of the fire exhibited the most active fire behavior again yesterday, keeping bulldozers and four helicopters busy throughout the afternoon. Firefighters continued building mechanical and hand line along the southeastern edge of the fire, and were aided by a few retardant drops from a single-engine air tanker to slow the fire’s spread. Hazard tree removal on the West Fork Fish Creek Road beneath Needle Point was conducted and will continue to be monitored.

Similar evacuations were lifted in Mineral County.

The areas of Fish Creek Road south of Big Pine Fishing Access to Cache Creek – including the Rivulet area –are in Stage 1 Evacuation Levels – residents should remain aware of the fire situation and be prepared to leave if conditions warrant. Also at noon, the Mineral County Sheriff’s office will lift Stage 1 and 2 evacuations for Lower Fish Creek along I-90, from Quartz Creek to Whiskey Gulch, including McFarland. South of I-90 at North Chicken Creek to Cyr including Sawmill Gulch and the south side of Crystal Springs. Residents should be aware of the fire situation and be prepared to evacuate should conditions change.

With the help of Mother Nature, firefighters are looking to build more fire lines along the northern and eastern flanks for the fire, but remain on high alert in case conditions change.

For more information, call the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office and Department of Emergency Services’ recorded line at (406) 258-INFO.