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Fire reported Monday northwest of Helena near Helmville

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Stage II fire restrictions lifted (copy)

The Murray fire was reported at 6:53 a.m. and by 1:05 p.m. had burned 55 acres.

A fire started Monday morning northwest of Helena about 12 miles southwest of Helmville, officials said, adding it was posing access issues.

The Murray fire, named after nearby Murray Creek, was reported at 6:53 a.m. and by 5 p.m. it had burned 75 acres, according to mtfireinfo.org. There was no containment reported and the cause of the blaze hasn't been determined.

“… it’s burning pretty good,” Lincoln Volunteer Fire Rescue posted on its Facebook page. “It's in some rough country and there will be a lot of aircraft on it as it's not accessible by fire rigs. It will be quite visible."

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Wyatt Frampton, a fire information officer with the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, said 10 smokejumpers were at the scene and ground units were mobilizing. He said the fire was in a steep area that had limited access and initial firefighting was by helicopters and large air tankers. 

Frampton said the fire was on Bureau of Land Management property and under the protection of the DNRC. He said the fire was under the command of the DNRC.

As of Monday night there were 75 personnel at the scene. No structures had been burned, no injuries were reported and no evacuations ordered, fire officials said.

According to mtfireinfo.org, there are now 59 active fires burning in Montana and there have been 1,703 fires so far this year. Twenty of them started this week and 79,276 acres have burned overall.

Fire officials also reminded the public they should not fly drones over the fire, saying that hampers aviation fire suppression efforts.

Assistant editor Phil Drake can be reached at 406-231-9021.

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Assistant editor/reporter

Phil Drake is the assistant editor and reporter at the Independent Record.

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