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Magpie Rock fire near Dixon still growing
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Magpie Rock fire near Dixon still growing

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With temperatures again pushing into the 90s on Friday, the Magpie Rock fire burning west of Dixon continued to grow, and remained at 0% contained, according to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Fire Information Facebook page.

"It's very hot and dry over here. That's not much help" in terms of fighting the blaze, fire investigator Devlin LaFrombois said Friday.

Some 305 personnel are assigned to the fire, listed late Friday afternoon at 3,500 acres, an increase of 400 acres from the previous evening.

A firefighting helicopter flies toward the Magpie Rock fire on Thursday.

“Aircraft continued to play a critical role in firefighting efforts yesterday due to steep and inaccessible terrain,” the post said.

Helicopters continued to drop water on it, and a burnout was planned for Friday afternoon. Firefighters also worked to extend fire lines on its east side to prevent the fire from moving farther toward the Revais Creek drainage, the Facebook post said. Fire lines on the blaze's south/southeast side were to be widened and improved to keep the fire from burning east toward Revais Creek.

However, plans for SEATS — single engine air tankers — to drop slurry on the fire were thwarted Friday by the heavy smoke from the blaze, LaFrombois said. "It's too socked in with smoke," he said. 

The National Weather Service set a heat advisory for the region through 7 p.m. Saturday, warning of temperatures near 100, with windy weather expected Sunday and Monday — though not to a level mandating a red flag warning.

"It's something that we're watching very closely," meteorologist Ryan Leach in the Weather Service's Missoula station said in a briefing this week. Cooler weather is expected Tuesday.

No evacuations had been ordered because of the Magpie Rock fire and no buildings were threatened, according to the post. The D-6000 road between Revais and Magpie, and Magpie D-5000 road are closed.

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