Montana Wildfire Roundup For July 28, 2017

Jul 28, 2017

Updated 2:10 pm

The Mineral County Sheriff's Office has issued a Stage 3 Evacuation Order for Quartz Creek. Occupants of the affected area are asked to leave immediately. This proactive order is being issued considering the fire creeping down towards Quartz Creek, winds predicted to increase this afternoon, and to allow occupants enough time vacate the area. 

Stage 3 Evacuation Order Area now includes:
Sunrise Creek
Quartz Flats
Quartz Creek

Stage 2 Evacuation Warning includes:
Verde Creek 

Stage 1 Evacuation Alert includes:
Rivulet area


Agency administrators, Fire Management Officers, and Public Information Officers will be providing fire information updates and will be available to answer questions pertaining to the Sunrise and Burdette Fires.

Saturday July 29, 2017, 7:00 to 8:00 P.M. Lozeau Lodge Pavilion

On the 3,700 acre Sunrise Fire, which is at five percent containment, the threat of thunderstorms is the main concern for the next few days. Gusty and erratic winds could drive fire spread in any direction. Next week a continued high pressure system will bring hot and dry conditions for the extended forecast. No significant precipitation is forecasted.

Fire growth expected to continue east with the onset of a passing cold front. Fire activity is expected to increase in the afternoon with hot and dry conditions with lower relative humidity and increasing winds.

Crews have been assigned to night shift for potential burnout operations ahead of the fire front. Day shift resources continue to assess opportunities for direct or indirect line on the northern side of the fire and construct dozer line around structures in Sunrise Creek subdivision. Aviation will continue to be used to help confine the fire in Meadow Creek drainage. Improve structure protection in Quartz Creek, Quartz Flat and Sunrise Creek.

The most recent update on the Burdette Fire, dated 7/27 just after noon, says it is 580 acres and 10 percent contained.

Click here to watch the video of the community meeting on the Lolo Peak Fire yesterday.


Yesterday, managers on the Lolo Peak Fire say it was most active along the northwest corner, below and south of Lantern Ridge within the Falls Creek and Middle Creek drainages. Taking advantage of the natural fuel break along the Bitterroot divide, aerial ignition continued west of the divide to widen this buffer from the main fire. Heavy equipment and crews improved and extended the primary control lines south of Highway 12 and west of Highway 93. Once completed, this line will provide firefighters a secure location to work from when the fire move toward the valleys.

Today, a helicopter will insert fire fighters to extinguish the 3 spot fires around the Duffy Lake area. Heavy equipment and hand crews will continue constructing and improving the primary control line from Mormon Peak Road (NFSR 612) south along the Highway 93 corridor toward Bass Creek Road. The structure assessment group will work south along the Highway 93 corridor. The public is reminded that a temporary flight restriction is in place over the fire area. Firefighters are also opening roads closer to the fire’s edge to look for additional locations for control lines. 

The Saphire Complex of fires southeast of Missoula have now burned a combined 9, 072 acres.

The largest is the Goat Creek Fire, at approximately 4,541 acres. It is five percent contained. The fire progressed toward the east with little substantial growth, yesterday, fire managers say.

They report construction and improvement of indirect fireline was completed by dozers and handcrews yesterday, and continues along ridgelines from Babcock Mountain beyond Burnt Mountain southeast toward Strawberry Mountain. A burning operation started yesterday around 3:00 pm above Brewster Creek to reduce fuels and even the fire's edge to better control the fire's advance.

The Little Hogback is approximately 4,416 acres and zero percent contained. Fire activity on the fire continues to be primarily on the northeast flank of the fire. Heavy equipment constructed and improved old fuelbreaks yesterday.

The Sliderock Fire is approximately 503 acres and also five percent contained.The fire continues to slowly move east, but overall growth was not significant. Hotshot crews built line on the Sliderock Fire from the south side to a trail on the east side.

The Cinnabar 3 Fire in the Welcome Creek Wilderness was located on Sunday evening by air resources. It was worked again yesterday by smokejumpers and a hotshot crew as well as supported by helicopters. This fire is approximately 20 acres with line around about 80%. A second hotshot crew will be sent in today.