- Associated Press - Thursday, August 4, 2016

HAMILTON, Mont. (AP) - Cooler weather helped firefighters in western Montana gain a little ground on a blaze that has burned 12 square miles of land and destroyed 14 homes and dozens of outbuildings.

Officials on the Roaring Lion Fire in the Bitterroot National Forest southwest of Hamilton say the fire is 7 percent contained, but they don’t expect to have the fire fully contained until the end of the month.

Cooler temperatures and higher humidity levels on Wednesday helped firefighters make progress on hand lines and mop-up in some areas. However, hotter and drier weather is predicted with the possibility of thunderstorms beginning Friday and through the weekend.

The fire began Sunday and residents of more than 600 homes remained evacuated Thursday, with another 200 on alert. The cause is still under investigation.

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