Seepay Fire Wrapping Up

Aug 21, 2014

As firefighters scrambled to tackle a new fire in Lewis and Clark County, fire crews working the 1,060-acre Seepay west of Dixon are now starting to demobilize.

Credit Phil Grossarth

That lightning-caused fire was first reported on August 13th. It's been fought by over 200 people and is under the jurisdiction of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes.

Public information officer, Bob MacGregor, says the original plan was to have Incident Commander Diane Hutton's Type II fire management team turn the effort over to a tribal Type III team:

"But as they looked at the weather forecast - and for the next seven days we're looking at rain almost every day and cloudy and cool conditions and high relative humidity. They decided that instead of hanging on to a lot of the equipment (the team had), they were going to de-mob(ilize) it. So they made the plan to pull all the equipment down to staging and then today we're de-mobing helicopters and equipment and crews as fast as we can get out of here."

MacGregor says fire analysts think the incoming cold-front could possibly be a season-ending event.

Still, MacGregor says tactical crews will be on the lookout for any potential lighting starts that may be slowly smoldering in the duff.

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes are lifting the Stage 1 Fire Restrictions first thing Saturday morning.

Despite all the optimistic fire news, officials ask everyone to be extremely cautious about fire - or any potential fire ignition sources.

They say conditions can quickly dry-out, raising the fire danger.