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DARBY - The Gold Pan fire grew by 144 acres on Monday, reaching 42,463 acres in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, south of Darby.

Bitterroot National Forest spokesman Tod McKay said the most active areas were in the Blue Joint drainage around Jack the Ripper Creek, where it remains about 3 miles southwest of Bare Cone Lookout.

The fire moved across the Idaho border into Montana last week, burning about 3,210 acres in Ravalli County south of Nez Perce Pass.

The nearby Nez Peak fire remained stable at 1,276 acres. About 80 personnel backed up with seven engines, three helicopters and other heavy equipment continue to work along the Magruder Corridor, removing snags and improving safety conditions.

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Another fire in Idaho, called the Nez Perce fire, is burning about 300 acres about 4 miles east of Gibbonsville. A Type 3 team with 80 firefighters and three helicopters has been assigned since it started on Friday. The fire has closed parts of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail from Big Hole Pass to Highway 43.

The Beaver Creek fire near Pintlar Lake in the Wisdom Ranger District has burned about 75 acres and has a wildland fire team of 25 assigned, along with two helicopters. It has forced the closure of a portion of the Continental Divide Scenic Trail through the Pintlar Mountain range, as well as Pintler Trail 203, Beaver Creek Trail 3368 and Mystic Trail 3369. the Continental Divide and Pintler campgrounds remain open.

In the Highway 12 corridor Tuesday, high humidity and lower temperatures allowed firefighters at the Lolo Creek Complex to reduce their force to a Type 3 team, responsible for mop-up and rehabilitation work on the 10,902-acre fire. Personnel reduced from 463 to 247.

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