Montana fires continue to rage

(AP/KOTA) - Montana continues to have one of the worst fire seasons ever; several blazes still being battled.

The Lolo Peak Fire near Missoula has burned 45,000 acres, with new evacuations ordered.

The Rice Ridge Fire near Seeley Lake has been burning for six weeks, but exploded over the weekend. It doubled in size to almost 110,000 acres. Containment is now at just 2 percent and more than 1,000 homes have been evacuated.

The Associated Press reports that a 14-square-mile (36 square kilometer) fire that consumed a historic Glacier backcountry chalet last week is moving toward Lake McDonald Lodge, a focal point for park visitors. Rangers have evacuated tourists, laid hoses and sprinklers around the hotel and are standing guard as the wind drives the blaze down the mountainside toward the lake's shores.

And firefighters are finally in the mop up stages of the Lodgepole Fire in central Montana. It has burned 270,000 acres. Sixteen homes and a significant amount of fencing and haystacks were destroyed.