Bob Marshall wildfire prompts travel warning

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A fire burning near Black Bear in the Bob Marshall Wilderness has prompted a travel warning for the South Fork of the Flathead River.

Travel is not advised on the East Side Trail No. 80 and West Side Trail No. 263 of the South Fork or on any connecting trails between the Meadow Creek Trailhead and Salmon Forks Cabin due to the Snow Creek Fire, burning above and to the west of Black Bear. Black Bear is about 10 miles south of the Meadow Creek Gorge Trailhead, one of the main routes into the wilderness.

The Snow Creek Fire began Aug. 2 as a result of lightning. The fire is burning mid to upper slope on the south facing side of the ridge that separates the Snow and Hungry Creek drainages, approximately 1.5 miles up drainage from the South Fork of the Flathead River.

As of presstime, it was about 475 acres.

Point protection plans are in process as the fire spreads toward the Black Bear Administrative Cabin and Pack Bridge, located 1.5 miles northeast of the current fire location. A crew has been established at the cabin to monitor the fire behavior and implement structure protection plans if necessary, the Forest Service said in a release.

The weather could help in the coming days, a wet and cool weather system is expected over the weekend, with about a 90 percent chance of rain on Saturday with much cooler temperatures. However, before that thunderstorms are expected, which could bring gusty winds.

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