CARIBOU FIRE: Evacuated West Kootenai residents allowed back home Sunday

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Residents forced by the Caribou fire to evacuate from the West Kootenai area on Sunday were allowed back to their homes, where they were placed under pre-evacuation notice should fire conditions worsen.

The lightning-caused fire on Monday was reported 25 percent contained and 22,388 acres in size, with 385 people assigned to it. About 11 percent of the fire is located in Canada.

Firefighters on Sunday “focused on the south and southwest side of the fire, continuing fireline construction and engaging direct attack when possible near Lime Creek,” states a fact sheet released Monday morning. “Heavy equipment and crews continued building fireline along the north side of Marias Mountain into the South Fork of Young Creek and Blacktail Creek area.”

Monday’s plan was to “continue building fireline along the north side of Marias Mountain and from Young Creek west towards Lime Creek,” while heavy equipment would work “on indirect line using existing roads in the Blacktail Creek area to the Canadian border.”

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