By Amanda Eggert EBS Associate Editor

The Blue Lake Fire, which is burning on private and BLM land about 1.5 miles south of Axolotl Lake, was detected at 2:45 p.m. on Thursday, July 21. Its cause is unknown according to Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest Public Information Officer Leona Rodreick.

Its estimated size is 10 acres and it’s burning in grass, sagebrush and timber. Four engines are responding and a Department of Natural Resources helicopter has been ordered. As of 5:45 p.m., Rodreick said two air tankers had almost arrived on scene and they will be dropping retardant or water on the eastern edge of the fire. There are structures within a mile and a half from the fire.

“We can see [the fire] from Dillon and I’ve heard reports that you can see it from West Yellowstone,” Rodreick said.

Two other fires—the Pole and Fine fires—have been burning approximately 15 miles southwest of Ennis in the Gravelly Mountains for more than three weeks. Those fires, which were started by lightning, were detected on June 30 and were last reported at 57 acres.