Jul 07 2015

Crews hold line on Glacier Rim fire, increase containment

Fire crews appear to have a good handle on the Glacier Rim fire. Containment reached 70% yesterday and the recent rain helped a bit. Fire extent stayed at 100 acres. Here is the most recent report from the InciWeb site . . .

Yesterday, July 6, Fire crews maintained fire lines around the slop-over from July 4th. Firefighters are falling hazardous snags to remove fuel near the fire line. All three helicopters provided water and visual support for the fire. An additional water tender was ordered and assisted in cooling the south flank of the fire to enable crews to begin mop up process. The Flathead County structure protection team continued to contact residents and assess structures Spoon and Bailey Lake residential area.

Northern side of the Glacier Rim fire from helicopter

Northern side of the Glacier Rim fire from helicopter

Current Situation:

Rd 316, Canyon Creek Road, has been closed at the junction with the North Fork Road #486 and at the junction at Trumbull Creek Road #9848 to public access.

The fire received a small amount of rain overnight and more is expected through the morning. Crews laid hose around the fire and will be cooling down the perimeter and hot spots with support from the water tenders. Hazard snag removal will continue along the south flank of the fire. Firefighters continue to reinforce and hold already established containment lines around the perimeter of the fire.

FOR YOUR AND THE FIREFIGHTERS’ SAFETY, DO NOT STOP IF YOU ARE TRAVELING IN THE FIRE AREA. Vehicles driving on the North Fork Road are asked to not stop in the fire area. River floaters on the river are asked to not stop in the fire area

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Jul 06 2015

Glacier Rim fire at 100 acres, 70 percent contained

Although mostly contained, the Glacier Rim fire continues to smolder in downed timber from the 2003 Robert Fire . . .

Stoked by high winds the night of July 4, the Glacier Rim Fire slopped over containment lines on its south and southwest flank, growing another 15 acres.

The fire is now at 100 acres. Cooler temperatures July 5 helped firefighters get a line around the slop area and the fire is now listed at 70 percent contained.

Forest Service Road No. 316 — the Canyon Creek Road, is closed to vehicles as firefighters are using it to reach the south end of the fire.

Read more . . .

More reading:

Idaho fire destroys homes while containment grows at Glacier Rim (Missoulian)

InciWeb page for Glacier Rim fire (USFS)

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Jul 05 2015

Last call for Inter Local meeting questions and comments

Published by under News

This is the last call for people to submit questions and concerns in advance of the summer Inter Local Agreement meeting on July 15 at 1:00 pm. Please have them to Bill Walker by the end of Wednesday, July 8 (contact information below). You can always bring things up with the various government agencies during the meeting, but you’ll often get a better or more complete answer if you give them a chance to think about things ahead of time.

For those of you not familiar with the purpose of Inter Local meetings, the meetings were established quite a few years ago in support of the North Fork Inter Local Agreement, which provides for face-to-face contact with representatives of agencies whose policies and actions affect the North Fork Flathead region. Inter Local Agreement meetings are held in the winter (in town) and summer (at Sondreson Hall). Governmental agencies participating at meetings include Flathead County (including the roads people), the Flathead National Forest, Glacier National Park, Montana DNRC, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Montana Department of State Lands, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the border patrol. The local organizations are the North Fork Compact, North Fork Preservation Association, North Fork Land Owners Association, North Fork Road Coalition for Health and Safety and the North Fork Trails Association. This summer, the meeting is sponsored by the North Fork Trails Association.

This is always a very interesting meeting, with reports from a range of government agencies and local organizations and often some quite vigorous discussion.

The day actually starts at 9:30 am with the Annual Firewise meeting, followed by a potluck lunch at noon with the North Fork Trails Association providing the burgers and brats. The Inter Local meeting begins at 1:00 pm.

Bill Walker’s contact information if you wish to submit comments or questions in advance:

11233 North Fork Road
Polebridge, MT 59928-9611
+1 (406) 407-2764
wkwalker@nvdi.com

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Jul 05 2015

High winds cause 25-acre spot fire near Glacier Rim blaze

Well, rats. High winds triggered a hefty spot fire along the southern/southwest boundary of the Glacier Rim Fire . . .

Firefighters are trying to contain a 25-acre spot fire that was caused by high winds near the Glacier Rim Fire up the North Fork. According to the U.S. Forest Service, additional resources have been ordered to help contain the slop-over near the containment lines in the south and southwest corners.

Firefighters continue to reinforce and hold already established containment lines around the perimeter of the original fire, which has burned 85 acres and is 70 percent contained. The human-caused fire, situated north of Columbia Falls off the North Fork Road, started June 27. An investigation into the cause of the incident is underway.

Canyon Creek Road has been closed to public access at the junction with the North Fork Road #486 and at the junction at Trumbull Creek Road #9848.

Read more . . .

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Jul 04 2015

Canadian fire season may preview Montana’s

Canada’s wildfire situation may be a preview of Montana’s . . .

As Montana holds Little League tryouts for the 2015 wildfire season, Canada is showing the planet how to really burn a summer.

Alberta authorities were battling 116 fires by the end of last week, including 46 reported as “out of control,” according to provincial officials.

At British Columbia’s Vancouver Island, a 50-acre fire near Nanaimo forced the evacuation of 12 homes Thursday. Island Timberlands, Vancouver Island’s major private timber company, closed public access to many of its roads on the east side of the island because of the fire danger.

Read more . . .

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Jul 03 2015

Glacier Rim Fire winding down

Looks like the Glacier Rim Fire is winding down . . .

Crews continue to mop up the Glacier Rim Fire west of Glacier National Park. The fire is listed at 82 acres and is burning in the old Robert Fire burn of 2003 in downed timber and brush.

The fire has seen no growth in the past several days and spot fires in Glacier National Park have been put out as well. The fire continues to burn inside the perimeter, however and is listed at 50 percent contained. Because of snag danger, the interior fire is being allowed to burn, with helicopter drops on hot spots to stop any spreading.

Read more . . .

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Jul 03 2015

‘Red Flag’ fire weather warning posted for 4th of July

Due to expected gusty winds and very low humidities, the National Weather Service posted a “Red Flag” fire weather warning for the 4th of July. It runs from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm. Here is the official bulletin:

URGENT - FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MISSOULA MT
107 PM MDT FRI JUL 3 2015

MTZ105-107-108-040715-
/O.UPG.KMSO.FW.A.0001.150704T1200Z-150705T0300Z/
/O.NEW.KMSO.FW.W.0001.150704T1200Z-150705T0300Z/
FLATHEAD/GLACIER PARK-SALISH AND KOOTENAI RESERVATION-EAST LOLO-
107 PM MDT FRI JUL 3 2015

...RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 6 AM TO 9 PM MDT SATURDAY FOR
GUSTY WINDS AND LOW HUMIDITIES ACROSS THE FLATHEAD/GLACIER PARK...
SALISH AND KOOTENAI RESERVATION...EAST LOLO...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MISSOULA HAS ISSUED A RED FLAG
WARNING FOR GUSTY WINDS AND LOW HUMIDITIES...WHICH IS IN EFFECT
FROM 6 AM TO 9 PM MDT SATURDAY. THE FIRE WEATHER WATCH IS NO
LONGER IN EFFECT.

* WINDS: SUSTAINED WESTERLY WINDS OF 15 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS TO
  40 MPH POSSIBLE.

* MINIMUM HUMIDITIES: SINGLE DIGITS TO LOW TEENS

* TIMING: WINDS WILL BEGIN TO INCREASE ACROSS NORTHWEST MONTANA
  SATURDAY MORNING AROUND SUNRISE... AND THEN SPREAD THROUGH THE
  REMAINDER OF WEST CENTRAL AND SOUTHWEST MONTANA BY EARLY
  AFTERNOON.

* A DRAMATIC WIND SHIFT FROM WESTERLY TO EASTERLY WILL OCCUR
  SOMETIME AFTER ROUGHLY 1900LT ACROSS THE GLACIER PARK AREA ON
  SATURDAY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A RED FLAG WARNING MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS
ARE EITHER OCCURRING NOW...OR WILL SHORTLY. A COMBINATION OF
STRONG WINDS...LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY...AND WARM TEMPERATURES WILL
CREATE EXPLOSIVE FIRE GROWTH POTENTIAL.

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Jul 02 2015

No fireworks for the 4th

Published by under News

As expected, Flathead County has banned all fireworks displays, public and private, due to exceptionally dry conditions . . .

Flathead County has banned the use of fireworks on all public and private land located within the county’s boundaries, outside of the city limits, effective immediately.

The commission took a hard stand against fireworks on Thursday morning, removing any exemptions for previously permitted shows in the county’s jurisdiction.

With the use of fireworks banned, the Flathead Emergency Communication Center, also known as the 911 Center, has set up a separate line to report non-emergency fireworks violations.The number to that line is 260-4161, and it feeds directly into the dispatch center. Emergencies such as injuries or fires should be reported to 911. There is no automatic fine assessed for violations, according to deputy county attorney Tara Fugina; the resolution states that violations may be prosecuted under applicable statutes.

Read more . . .

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Jul 02 2015

U.S. Forest Service: Glacier Rim Fire Update 7/2/15

Here is the official Thursday evening report on the status of the Glacier Rim Fire:

Release Date: Jul 2, 2015

The Glacier Rim Fire is burning on the Glacier View Ranger District, in the Flathead National Forest and Glacier National Park. This fire is being managed with full suppression tactics, with fire fighter and public safety as a priority.

Fire Summary:
Location:
North of Columbia Falls, MT, approximately 11.5 miles up the North Fork Road, in the vicinity of Glacier Rim.

Detected: June 27, 2015 Cause: Human caused
Legal Description: SE, Section 27, T32N, R20W; Lat/Long: Lat. 48° 30’ 9” North, Long. 114° 8’ 39”
Current size: 85 acres; Containment: 45%

Current Status: The Glacier Rim Fire started on June 27, 2015. The fire is burning in the old 2003 Robert Fire burned area. The fuels are mixed heavy dead timber and brush, with significant snag hazard. The fire is primarily located west of the North Fork Road, though it did spot across the North Fork River into Glacier National Park.

Yesterday, Wednesday July 1, the fire continued to burn hot within the interior of the established perimeter. Fire lines built during the previous days were reinforced. Sprinklers were set up in multiple locations including in the steep northern edge of the fire to maintain the perimeter of the fire. The helicopters continued cooling hot spots along the fire line. All known spot fires within Glacier National Park are dead out. Firefighter efforts are challenged due to safety concerns involving danger of large snags originally burned in the Robert Fire of 2003.

Today, Thursday July 2, firefighters will continue to reinforce fire lines. Water pumps and sprinkler systems will be used to cool the edges of the fire and mop up. Helicopters will continue to work hotspots and areas that flare up. Some resources are being released from the fire. The temperatures and wind speeds are expected to increase on the fire.

Unseasonably warm weather and extremely dry fuel conditions are driving fire behavior in these previously burned fuels. Two residences directly adjacent to the fire voluntarily chose to leave. No evacuation orders have been issued by the county.

The following resources are assigned to the fire: two 20-person fire crews and several other smaller modules of firefighters, four engines, water tenders, three helicopters, a mix of heavy equipment including a dozer, a feller-buncher, and an excavator, a local type 3 Incident Management Team composed of Flathead National Forest, Glacier National Park, Flathead County, and MT State Department of Natural Resources, for a total of 85 personnel.

SPECIAL MESSSAGE: Stage 1 Fire restrictions will go into effect for all of Northwest Montana on Friday, July 3, 2015.

FOR YOUR SAFETY AND THE FIREFIGHTERS SAFETY DO NOT STOP IF YOU ARE TRAVELING IN THE FIRE AREA. Vehicles driving on the North Fork Road are asked to not stop in the fire area. River floaters on the river are asked to not stop in the fire area. Helicopters are working over head to shuttle fire fighters to the fire as well as performing water drops. The helicopters cannot fly overhead if people are stopped below.
Fire Information: (406) 387-3867
Email: glacierrimfire@gmail.com
Web: inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4336

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Jul 01 2015

U.S. Forest Service: Glacier Rim Fire Update 7/1/15

Here is the official Wednesday evening report on the status of the Glacier Rim Fire:

Release Date: Jul 1, 2015

The Glacier Rim Fire is burning on the Glacier View Ranger District, in the Flathead National Forest and Glacier National Park. This fire is being managed with full suppression tactics, with fire fighter and public safety as a priority.

Fire Summary:
Location: North of Columbia Falls, MT approximately 11.5 miles up the North Fork Road in the vicinity of Glacier Rim.

Detected: June 27, 2015  Cause: Human caused, under investigation.

Legal Description: SE, Section 27,T32N, R20W; Lat/Long: Lat. 48 30′ 9″ North, Long. 114 8′ 39″

Current Size: 85 acres  Containment: 35%

Current Status: The Glacier Rim Fire started on June 27, 2015, at approximately 1 p.m. The fire is burning in the old 2003 Robert Fire burned area. The fuels are mixed heavy dead timber and brush, with significant snag hazard. The fire is primarily located west of the North Fork Road, though it has spotted across the North Fork River in to Glacier National Park.

Yesterday, Tuesday June 30, firefighters continued to build line around the fire and reinforce already established lines. Firefighters continued to work towards total line containment with helicopters and heavy equipment assistance. The spot fires within the park were mopped up and rehabbed by the crew working there.

Today, Wednesday July 1, the fire continues to burn hot within the interior of the established perimeter. A small area on the north edge of the fire within Canyon Creek is still not contained due to steep terrain and heavy timber; the efforts today include setting up sprinklers along the north edge of fire and cooling the hot spots within the interior of the fire with helicopters. Now that the spot fires within Glacier National Park are dead out, firefighters are being pulled later this evening and reassigned to the main fire. Firefighter efforts are challenged due to safety concerns involving extreme danger of large snags and falling dead trees originally burned in the Robert Fire of 2003.

Unseasonably warm weather and extremely dry fuel conditions are driving fire behavior in these previously burned fuels. Two residences directly adjacent to the fire voluntarily chose to leave. No evacuation orders have been issued by the county.

The following resources are assigned to the fire: three 20-person fire crews and several other smaller modules of firefighters, two engines, three water tenders, three helicopters, a mix of heavy equipment including a dozer, two feller-bunchers, a grappel skidder and an excavator, two jet boats to facilitate floater safety on the river, a local type 3 Incident Management Team composed of Flathead National Forest, Glacier National Park, Flathead County, and MT State Department of Natural Resources, for a total of 120 total personnel.

SPECIAL MESSSAGE: Stage 1 Fire restrictions will go into effect for all of Northwest Montana on Friday, July 3, 2015. FOR YOUR SAFETY AND FIREFIGHTER SAFETY DO NOT STOP IF YOU ARE TRAVELING IN THE FIRE AREA. Vehicles on driving on the North Fork Road are asked to not stop in the fire area. River floaters on the river are asked to not stop in the fire area. Helicopters are working over head to shuttle fire fighters to the fire as well as performing water drops. The helicopters cannot fly overhead if people are stopped below.

Fire Information: 406/387-3867
Email: glacierrimfire@gmail.com
Web: inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4336

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