Montana Wildfire Roundup for August 6, 2017

Aug 6, 2017

Updated 6 p.m.

The Lolo Peak Fire, southwest of Lolo has now scorched 7,084 acres.

Aerial resources, including retardant, are being used to slow the progression of the Lolo Peak Fire into Dick Creek and the South Fork of Lolo Drainage while completing containment lines to the west and north of the fire. Slowing the progression of the fire allows us to be prepared for fire movement in the future that could threaten structures along the Highway 12 corridor.

Sunday: Limited to moderate fire spread. Backing and flanking fire with isolated torching and short range spotting. Possible short crown runs may occur at the peak of the burn period.

Monday: Continued slight increase in fire behavior with moderate spread due to lower humidity levels. Backing and flanking will occur with isolated torching and short range spotting. During peak burn periods, short crown runs may occur.

Tuesday: Moderate fire spread is anticipated. Backing and flanking with isolated torching and short range spotting and possibly a short range crown run.

The Monahan Fire - 1,895 acres. The incident is located between Monahan Mountain on the Lolo National Forest and Little Apex Mountain on the Flathead National Forest. The fire is being managed for resource benefit including allowing the fire to play its natural ecological role with consideration for public and firefighter safety and point protection of historic resources and trail infrastructure. Transfer of command from Mike Mansson to Nick Hasty will occur on Monday evening, August 7th at 2000. The fire will continue to be managed as a Type 4 incident. Reconnaissance by air to monitor fire activity will continue. Structure protection equipment and supplies are in place for cabins and storage shed. Trapline and communication with outfitters and guides in the wilderness will continue. 

Rice Ridge Fire: Community meeting TONIGHT at Seeley Lake Elementary at 6pm. Fire management, Law Enforcement, Weather and Air Quality, and Transportation officials will be there to answer any questions. The meeting will be livestreamed through the Lolo National Forest FaceBook page.

7,986-acres at 10-percent containment.

Saturday’s cooler temps and increased humidity resulted in decreased fire behavior over much of the fire area. Fire crews on the west and south sides of the fire were able to improve fire line, install additional hose lays and sprinklers as well as prepare forest roadways to serve as large firebreaks. On the southeast side of the fire crews extended control lines to limit the spread of the fire to the south.

Aircraft were hampered by smoke affecting Missoula, where many of the fixed wing aircraft are staged. Two heavy helicopters assigned to the fire worked on cooling hot spots on the southeast corner of the fire through part of the afternoon. Structure protection groups continue to thin fuels and place hose lays along the Highway 83 corridor and the north side of Seeley Lakes and the Double Arrow community. Crews are testing pumps and hoses to ensure functionality should they be needed.

The evacuation warning issued to residents is still in effect on both sides of Highway 83 south of Rice Ridge Road to Morrell Creek and south of Cottonwood Lakes Road east of Highway 83, including the town of Seeley Lake and Double Arrow Ranch. No actual evacuations have been ordered. 

Community Meeting Scheduled for Meyers Fire, southwest of Philipsburg, MT.  Monday, August 7, 7:00 pm at Georgetown Lake Fire Station, #1, 100 Fire Lane, off of Southern Cross Rd. Fire personnel from the Meyers Fire incident management team and Georgetown Fire Chief will present current fire update and information on potential future outlooks. For more information call: 406-859-9107

Meyers Fire: 12,895-acres at 2-percent containment.

Firefighters continue constructing and strengthening indirect contingency lines in the northern and eastern flanks of the fire. A combination of dozers, skidgines, snippers, chippers, and crews is being very successful in removing excess fuels from lines. These efforts, utilizing existing roads and natural barriers, present the most effective and safest option for stopping the fire growth when and if it moves toward them. Firefighter and public safety is foremost in manager’s minds and preparing for the fire to move into more favorable terrain meets this objective.

Firefighters are taking opportunities to attack the fire perimeter directly wherever possible especially in the Moose Lake area. An active search was conducted for spot fires and many were found, extinguished, and mopped up. Crews continue to utilize timber management equipment to improve the shaded fire break (trees limbed up and ladder fuels removed) along road #5106.

Cooler temperatures were expected today with a slight chance of thunder showers. Less fire activity and smoke expected from the Meyers fire but we could see additional smoke from other fires in the region and Canada. Evacuations: The Granite County Sheriff issued EVACUATION notices for the FROG POND BASIN, COPPER CREEK CAMPGROUND areas, and the MOOSE LAKE area. These areas are closed for public health and safety due to wildfire.