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Firefighters battling the State Creek fire have completed 50% of the objectives being used to contain the blaze,  according to an update provided Monday by the U.S. Forest Service. 

Objectives include protecting private residences and structures and keep the fire off private land, when possible, according to the Sept. 14 update.

The size of the blaze increased to 3,140 acres, with a portion of that due to the burnout activities. 

Burnout are employed to use up unburned fuels between the edge of the fire and prepared fire breaks, according to the update. Planes were also used to slow the fire to the north, according to the report. 

The fire is located in Jefferson County, about 16 miles northeast of Whitehall, in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. 

The blaze was ignited from a lightning strike on Aug. 25, but wasn’t detected until four days later. It is located in rough terrain, which has been difficult for fire crews to reach. 

Smoke from wildfires in California, Oregon and Washington are currently impacting air quality in Montana. 

Cloth face coverings used to reduce the spread of COVID-19 offer little protection against air pollutants generated from wildfires, while N95 masks are more effective, according to the Montana Department of Environmental Quality. 

To check air quality, visit TodaysAir.mt.gov.

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