Sep 01 2015

Rain gives fire crews a chance to get ahead of the game

Flathead Hotshot on the Marston Fireline, Aug 23, 2015

Flathead Hotshot on the Marston Fireline, Aug 23, 2015

Rain and cooler weather has let fire crews make some progress against many area wildfires . . .

Substantial rainfall — at least by parched Northwest Montana standards — has dampened area wildfire activity.

The changing weather and slowing fire activity have allowed evacuation orders to be lifted in the Essex, Noxon and Libby areas.

On the 6,810-acre Northeast Kootenai Complex, which is almost entirely composed of the 6,700-acre Marston Fire east of Fortine, opportunistic firefighters were leaping at the chance to corral the blaze.

Read more . . .

No responses yet

Sep 01 2015

Northeast Kootenai Complex morning update – Sep 1, 8:30 am

 

Marston Fire Information Map, Aug 31, 2015


Here’s this morning’s report on the Northeast Kootenai Complex fires.

Of greatest interest to North Forkers is the Marston Fire, which made a run to the northeast recently, resulting in a precautionary closure of a section of the Flathead National Forest in the North Fork. The cooler, wetter weather that moved into the area has made life easier for crews fighting this blaze. It is still not anywhere close to the North Fork and has not grown over the last 24 hours.

Also see the Northeast Kootenai Complex Proximity to Flathead NF Map for information on the position of the Marston Fire in relation to major North Fork features.


Information Officers: Katie Knotek, Tom Rhode & Meg Nemitz
Fire Information Line: (406) 882-8308
Office hours: 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Email: northeastkootenaicomplex@gmail.com

INCIDENT: Northeast Kootenai Complex (includes Barnaby, Marston, and Sunday Fires)
AGENCY JURISDICTION: USDA Forest Service, Kootenai & Flathead National Forests; Montana DNRC, Libby and Stillwater Units.
INCIDENT COMMANDER: Shawn Pearson, Northern Rockies Type II Incident Management Team (IMT). The Incident Command Post (ICP) is located at the Murphy Lake Ranger Station.

WEATHER & FIRE BEHAVIOR: Weather today will be mostly cloudy in the morning becoming partly sunny by the afternoon. Maximum temperatures will be in the low 70’s, relative humidity around 30%, and winds will be light from the southwest. Based on these conditions, moderate fire behavior is expected to continue. On the Marston Fire, fire will continue the slow process of backing downhill toward Deep Creek on the North and Sink Creek on the South.

MARSTON FIRE:
The Marston Fire is estimated at 6,700 acres with 20% containment. On the North side of the fire, crews are continuing to mop up and secure fireline in the bottom of Deep Creek and monitoring the fire backing down to the creek east of Jeager Mine. Nine miles of fireline, from Deep Creek south to about one mile above Sink Creek, continues to hold and is keeping the fire from moving west. Weather permitting, crews may conduct burnout operations between the indirect line and the fire perimeter south towards Sink Creek in order to increase the amount of secure fireline. Water drops from helicopters will be used to minimize fire movement as necessary. The fire has NOT moved onto the Flathead National Forest and is approximately 20 miles away from Polebridge.

SUNDAY FIRE:
The Sunday Fire located about four miles southeast of Stryker, MT, is 60 acres with 100% containment and is being patrolled daily to check for hotspots.

BARNABY FIRE:
The Barnaby Fire is located about four miles northeast of Eureka in steep, rugged terrain. Fire will continue to smolder but activity is diminished due to weather conditions. The fire is being monitored from the air with helicopters available to drop water as needed. Fire remains 50 acres, 0% containment.

PERSONNEL AND RESOURCES: 247 personnel including 2 Type -1 crews, 3 Type – 2 crews, 2 engines,
3 helicopters (2 Type – 1 Chinook, 1 Type – 2), 1 dozers, 2 water tenders, and 1 skidgine.

SPECIAL MESSAGES/CLOSURES: There are Area Closures on the Fortine Ranger District, Kootenai National Forest, for both the Martson and Barnaby Fires. The Martson Fire Area Closure includes closure of Murphy Lake for the safety of firefighting equipment and the public, as helicopters dip water out of the lake. There is an additional Area Closure for the Marston Fire on the Hungry Horse-Glacier View Ranger District, Flathead National Forest, should the fire move into the area. See Inciweb for maps and explanations of closures.

A Community Meeting will be held Wednesday, September 2, at 7:00 p.m. at the Trego Civic Center.

For more information on the fires, visit: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/; Select “Northeast Kootenai Complex”

No responses yet

Sep 01 2015

Thompson-Divide Complex morning update – Sep 1, 8:00 am

Here’s the morning update for the Thompson-Divide Complex fires, including the Granite, Sheep and Thompson fires.

The big news continues to be the Sheep Fire, which triggered an evacuation order for Essex a few days ago. The Essex evacuation order was lifted yesterday and U.S. Route 2 was reopened for normal traffic. The arrival of cooler, wetter weather has helped firefighters throughout the region.

For a view of the positions and relative sizes of the fires in this group, see the “Thompson-Divide Complex Vicinity Map” at the end of this post . . .


Fire Information: (406) 387-4854/ (406) 314-1669, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Fire Complex Completed: 24%
Resources – Total Personnel: 332 Injuries: 1 Structures Lost: None
20-Person Hand Crews: 2 Type-1 and 3 Type-2, 1 Wildland Fire Management Module (8), 1 Helitack Crew (10)
Air Support: Helicopters (2 Type-1 & 2 Type-3), Engines: 18 Heavy Equipment: 14

The Thompson-Divide Complex is comprised of the Sheep and Granite Fires on the Flathead National Forest and the Thompson Fire in Glacier National Park. The Sheep fire is the incident priority due to its proximity to US Hwy. 2, BNSF railway and the community of Essex.

On Aug. 31, Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry lifted the mandatory evacuation order for Essex and the surrounding area and placed the community back to the ‘Set’ Stage of the Ready, Set, Go evacuation model. Residents are advised to remain prepared to evacuate if conditions again warrant this action. For more information on the evacuation, call the Flathead County Office of Emergency Services at (406) 758-2111.

On Aug, 31, U.S. Highway 2 reopened with pilot cars escorting traffic between mileposts 176.5 at Schellinger Gravel Pit and 185 at Bear Creek. Escorted vehicles are not allowed to stop in this area. BNSF and Amtrak trains are running normally. Call 511 or visit http://www.mdt.mt.gov/travinfo/alerts.shtml for current road status. For more information on Amtrak call (800) 872-7245.

Stage II Fire Restrictions are in effect for northwestern Montana.

Visit http://svc.mt.gov/deq/todaysair/ for air quality info.

Closures are in effect for some trails and areas in the vicinity of the fires for Glacier National Park and Flathead National Forest. For more info, see the Glacier NP page http://www.nps.gov/glac or for Flathead NF call Hungry Horse Ranger District (406) 387-3800 or go to http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/4468/28364/.

Low pressure weather patterns will continue to effect the fire complex area thru the weekend. Temperatures will range between 65-72 degrees with higher humidity. There will be a chance for occasional light rain with periods of gusty winds. The fire activity today is expected to be minimal and give firefighters opportunities for building fireline.


Sheep Fire, Flathead National Forest Link to http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4468/

Structures At Risk: 200+ structures, BNSF has several wooden snowsheds and 1 trestle, utilities infrastructure

Approximate Size: 2,102 acres Structures Lost: None

Fire Update: The Sheep Fire is on the Flathead National Forest and burning in very steep terrain with limited access. The fire is about 1 mile south of Essex and about 1/8 mile from the train tracks between Tank Creek and McDonald Creek. The fire has not crossed Sheep Creek to the south. Today firefighters will continue direct suppression efforts in the Sheep Creek and Tank Creek drainages. The shaded fuelbreak construction along the tracks between the trestle to Essex is completed. The shaded fuel breaks in the areas around Essex, Essex Creek Road and the County park land is near completion. The logs and slash created by this effort are being moved to a safe location. These shaded fuelbreaks create defensible positions if burning operations are required later. Structural protection measures are in place in Essex. A night shift will continue to monitor fire movement and patrol the Essex area and Walton compound for any encroaching fire activity.

Continue Reading »

No responses yet

Aug 31 2015

Speak up for the Badger-Two Medicine

Published by under Environmental Issues,News

Here’s an important message from our friends at the Montana Wilderness Association for anyone concerned about the potential for drilling activities in the Badger-Two Medicine region. Note that Debo Powers (debopowers@gmail.com) is organizing a car pool to attend the meeting in Choteau . . .

The Badger-Two Medicine (photo courtesy of Leanne Falcon and Glacier-Two Medicine Alliance)

The Badger-Two Medicine (photo courtesy of Leanne Falcon and Glacier-Two Medicine Alliance)

On September 2, 2015, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) travels to Choteau, Montana to hear from the public about proposed oil and gas development in the Badger-Two Medicine. ACHP is an independent federal agency that promotes the preservation, enhancement, and productive use of our nation’s historic resources. In this case, the council will advise the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) whether the negative impacts of proposed drilling in the Badger-Two Medicine can be mitigated to avoid damaging the Badger’s sacred, cultural, and historical values.

We have a very simple message for the ACHP: any development in the Badger-Two Medicine will bring irreparable damage. The only recommendation the ACHP can make for preventing damage and desecration to this sacred area is this: Cancel the illegal leases.

We need your help to make this message loud and clear to the ACHP.

The USFS must consider ACHP’s recommendation in making its final determination about oil and gas drilling in the Badger. If the ACHP tells the USFS that the agency should carefully consider lease cancellation because the impacts cannot be mitigated, it strongly bolsters the case we have been making – that lease cancellation is the only good option for the Badger. But if ACHP proposes that the development can somehow be mitigated to decrease damage to the cultural property, it leaves the door open for drilling across the Badger. Encouragingly, the USFS last week recognized, in its response to a U.S. District court order, that cancellation is an option the agency could pursue.

The ACHP needs to hear from all Montanans about why the Badger-Two Medicine is an invaluable piece of Blackfeet, Montana, and American history.

We’re asking people to attend the meeting in Choteau on Wednesday, September 2 or else submit a written comment to ACHP, or both.

The meeting takes place in Choteau on September 2 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Stage Stop Inn, 1005 Main Ave. North.

ANYONE WHO WOULD LIKE TO CARPOOL FROM THE NORTH FORK TO CHOTEAU ON SEPTEMBER 2 TO ATTEND THIS MEETING, PLEASE CONTACT DEBO AT debopowers@gmail.com

If you would like to speak at the meeting, you can pre-register to do so by contacting Katry Harris at 106permittodrill@achp.gov. People who have not pre-registered will be allowed to speak if time permits.

To submit a written comment, email it to Katry Harris at 106permittodrill@achp.gov or mail her your comments to:

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
401 F Street, NW, Suite 308,
Washington, D.C. 20001-2637

All comments must be submitted by 3 p.m. (MST), September 4, 2015.

Here are some comment suggestions:

  • The Badger-Two Medicine area holds significant cultural and historical importance to the Blackfeet people, to the people of Montana, and to all citizens. Sacred lands should be protected from industrialization for posterity. What does the Badger mean to you and your family?
  • The Badger-Two Medicine is a living cultural landscape and an intact ecosystem. Its cultural value cannot be separated from its ecological integrity.
  • The ACHP should avoid making recommendations that suggest that the negative impacts of oil and gas exploration can be mitigated or avoided, because that is not possible.
  • The only option to avoid permanent damage to the Badger-Two Medicine is to not drill and to encourage the federal land managers to work together to cancel all of the remaining leases.

Casey Perkins, MWA’s Rocky Mountain Front field director

No responses yet

Aug 31 2015

Debo Powers: Is Canadian logging a threat to pristine drainage?

Published by under Environmental Issues,News

Debo Powers, president of the North Fork Preservation Association, had an excellent op-ed on the Daily Inter Lake yesterday talking about heavy logging in the Canadian Flathead drainage . . .

The North Fork of the Flathead River has long been recognized as an internationally special stream, both in Canada and the United States. As such, the drainage has been managed with unusual care and attention on both sides of the international line.

But recent activity on the British Columbia side of the North Fork Valley should have all of us on alert. Especially those of us who care deeply about clean water, native trout, Glacier Park and Flathead Lake.

Over the past decades, much of the concern over the North Fork of the Flathead has focused on energy and coal development. And rightly so. Mountain-removal coal mining would have had devastating effects on the clean water that pours out of Canada, into Northwest Montana.

Thankfully, we’ve put that concern behind us via international agreements. But now we need similar, international agreements on how the North Fork of the Flathead Valley is going to be logged, particularly north of the border.

Obviously, logging does not have nearly the impact of coal mining. Trees grow back. Timber harvest can be compatible with keeping the North Fork healthy. But it’s compatible only if done correctly, up to modern scientific standards and with full transparency.

Two companies, Canfor and Jemi Fibre, are cutting or plan to cut large swaths of forest in the British Columbia Flathead. It’s worth noting that clearcut logging of such massive scale would simply not be allowed in the United States. In addition, the United States would have much stricter guidelines — such as how heavy equipment is used and requiring buffer zones around streams.

These are not just any streams. The logging is proposed around Foisey and McClatchie Creeks. These are major tributaries of the North Fork. Not only are they the source of clean water that eventually flows into Flathead Lake, they are major spawning tributaries for bull trout migrating out of Flathead Lake.

In particular, Jemi Fibre’s plans to log “Sportsman’s Ridge” are of particular concern. This area produces 30-40 percent of the bull trout in the North Fork. As the name implies, it is rich with wildlife.

On July 17, Sen. Jon Tester wrote Secretary of State John Kerry asking him to broach the subject of watershed management in the North Fork with the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Sen. Tester wrote, “…proposed logging in the Canadian Flathead near McLatchie and Foisey Creeks [major tributaries to the North Fork] have Montanans and federal agencies very concerned about adverse downstream impacts on water quality and wildlife… Sedimentation from large-scale timber harvest has great potential to negatively affect” the North Fork.

Flathead Trout Unlimited raised the alarm on Canadian logging in the watershed. I am grateful for their vigilance.

Please note that no one is saying the North Fork should be entirely off-limits to logging. There is room for sustainable timber harvest here, and we know logging can be light on the land and even beneficial for some wildlife species. We are simply saying that Canada and Montana should be good neighbors when planning this logging.

Experts from both countries should carefully think out logging plans. Those plans should employ the latest science and the best management practices to protect the wildlife, fish and water we share. After all, those resources move freely over the international border.

The North Fork of the Flathead Valley is a truly special place. Generations of Montanans and Canadians have worked together to keep it that way. Ultimately, the citizens of each nation have the final responsibility to be good stewards, and good neighbors.

I encourage Montana’s entire congressional delegation and Gov. Steve Bullock to speak clearly and respectfully to their Canadian counterparts: Let’s work together to keep the North Fork special, before it’s too late.

No responses yet

Aug 31 2015

Essex evacuation order lifted; US 2 reopens

From a note posted by Glacier Park . . .

Good news! U.S. Highway 2 reopened at 6 a.m. today, with pilot cars escorting traffic between mileposts 176.5 at Schellinger and 185 at Bear Creek. Escorted vehicles are not allowed to stop in this area. Call 1-800-226-7623 or 511 or visit http://www.mdt.mt.gov/travinfo/alerts.shtml for current road status.

BNSF trains and Amtrak are running intermittently. For more information on Amtrak call (800) 872-7245.

No responses yet

Aug 31 2015

Thompson-Divide Complex morning update – Aug 31, 8:00 am

Canyon Community Church and 4H Club Thank-You notes

The Canyon Community Church and the Glacier View 4-H Club made treats and thank-you notes for Wildland Firefighter. The Firefighters signed the notes with their own expressions of thanks.


Here’s the morning update for the Thompson-Divide Complex fires.

The big news continues to be the Sheep Fire, which triggered an evacuation order for Essex a few days ago. The Essex evacuation order was lifted this morning and U.S. Route 2 was reopened for normal traffic. The arrival of cooler, wetter weather has helped firefighters throughout the region . . .


Fire Information: (406) 387-4854/ (406) 314-1669, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Resources – Total Personnel: 325 Injuries: 1 Structures Lost: None

20-Person Hand Crews: 2 Type-1 and 3 Type-2, 1 Wildland Fire Management Module (8), 1 Helitack Crew (10)

Air Support: Helicopters (2 Type-1 & 2 Type-3), Engines: 17 Heavy Equipment: 15

The Thompson-Divide Complex is comprised of the Sheep and Granite Fires on the Flathead National Forest and the Thompson Fire in Glacier National Park. The Sheep fire is the incident priority due to its proximity to US Hwy. 2, BNSF railway and the community of Essex.

At 6 a.m., today Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry lifted the mandatory evacuation order for Essex and the surrounding area and placed the community back to the ‘Set’ Stage of the Ready, Set, Go evacuation model. Residents are advised to remain prepared to evacuate if conditions again warrant this action. For more information on the evacuation, call the Flathead County Office of Emergency Services at (406) 758-2111.

U.S. Highway 2 reopened at 6 a.m. today, with pilot cars escorting traffic between mileposts 176.5 at Schellinger and 185 at Bear Creek. Escorted vehicles are not allowed to stop in this area. BNSF trains and Amtrak are running intermittently. Call 511 or visit http://www.mdt.mt.gov/travinfo/alerts.shtml for current road status. For more information on Amtrak call (800) 872-7245.

Stage II Fire Restrictions are in effect for northwestern Montana.

Visit http://svc.mt.gov/deq/todaysair/ for air quality info.

Closures are in effect for some trails and areas in the vicinity of the fires for Glacier National Park and Flathead National Forest. For more info, see the Glacier NP page http://www.nps.gov/glac or for Flathead NF call Hungry Horse Ranger District (406) 387-3800 or go to http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/4468/28364/.

Today, the fire areas will have temperatures in the mid-60s and higher humidity in 30-40 percent range, which will help keep fire behavior minimal. Similar weather conditions are expected to continue for the next several days. These conditions will give firefighters new opportunities to build fireline on fire edges.

Sheep Fire, Flathead National Forest Link to http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4468/

Structures At Risk: 200+ structures, BNSF has several wooden snowsheds and 1 trestle, utilities infrastructure

Approximate Size: 2,102 acres Containment: 0% Structures Lost: None

Fire Update: The Sheep Fire is on the Flathead National Forest and burning in very steep terrain with limited access. The fire is about 1 mile south of Essex and about 1/8 mile from the train tracks between Tank Creek and McDonald Creek. The fire has not crossed Sheep Creek to the south. Today, firefighters plan to engage the fire with direct suppression efforts along fire edges in the Sheep Creek and Tank Creek. Construction of the shaded fuelbreak along tracks across from Goat Lick is completed. The shaded fuel breaks in the areas around Essex, Essex Creek Road, and the County park land is near completion. The logs and slash created by this effort are being moved to a safe location. These shaded fuelbreaks create defensible positions if burning operations are required later. Structural protection measures are in place in Essex. A night shift will continue to monitor fire movement and patrol the Essex area and Walton compound for any encroaching fire activity.

Continue Reading »

No responses yet

Aug 31 2015

Weather helps firefighters; Essex evacuation lifted

The Essex evacuation order was lifted this morning and U.S. Route 2 was reopened. In general, cooler, wetter weather has helped firefighters throughout the region . . .

The residents of Essex can go home again, if they’re ready to.

Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry announced Sunday night that the mandatory evacuation order for the town will be lifted at 6 a.m. Monday morning, and the community will be back to the “set” stage of the “Ready, Set, Go” evacuation model.

Essex had been under a mandatory evacuation order since Thursday, as the Sheep fire closed in. Also, U.S. Highway 2 will reopen at the same time, with pilot cars escorting traffic through the fire zone.

Read more . . .

No responses yet

Aug 31 2015

Northeast Kootenai Complex morning update – Aug 31, 8:30 am

Marston Fire August 17, 2015

Marston Fire August 17, 2015

Here’s this morning’s report on the Northeast Kootenai Complex fires.

Of greatest interest to North Forkers is the Marston Fire, which made a run to the northeast recently, resulting in a precautionary closure of a section of the Flathead National Forest in the North Fork. The cooler, wetter weather that moved into the area has made life easier for crews fighting this blaze. It is still not anywhere close to the North Fork.

Also see the Northeast Kootenai Complex Proximity to Flathead NF Map for information on the position of the Marston Fire in relation to major North Fork features.


Information Officers: Katie Knotek, Tom Rhode & Meg Nemitz
Fire Information Line: (406) 882-8308
Office hours: 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Email: northeastkootenaicomplex@gmail.com

INCIDENT: Northeast Kootenai Complex (includes Barnaby, Marston, and Sunday Fires)
AGENCY JURISDICTION: USDA Forest Service, Kootenai & Flathead National Forests; Montana DNRC, Libby and Stillwater Units.
INCIDENT COMMANDER: Shawn Pearson, Northern Rockies Type II Incident Management Team (IMT). The Incident Command Post (ICP) is located at the Murphy Lake Ranger Station.

WEATHER & FIRE BEHAVIOR: Weather today will be cloudy with maximum temperatures 57 to 65 F, relative humidity 45 to 52%, and southwest winds 2 to 8 mph. Based on these conditions, moderate fire behavior is expected. On the Marston Fire, fire will continue the slow process of backing downhill toward Deep Creek on the North and Sink Creek on the South.

MARSTON FIRE:
The Marston Fire is estimated at 6,700 acres with 15% containment. On the North side of the fire, crews are working in the bottom of Deep Creek preparing fireline and fuel breaks in preparation for the fire backing down to the creek east of Jeager Mine. Nine miles of fuel break, from Deep Creek south to near Sink Creek, has held and is keeping the fire from moving west. On the south side of the fire, excavators are being used to pile logs along the indirect line that runs south and east to the Stillwater State Forest. A Montana National Guard Chinook helicopter and a medium helicopter will be available with water drops to assist firefighters with cooling hot spots along the fire’s edge. The fire has NOT moved onto the Flathead National Forest and is approximately 20 miles away from Polebridge. Residents who are concerned about the fire are asked to contact the Northeast Kootenai Complex Fire Information Line and stay updated on the incident through the InciWeb site for the Northeast Kootenai Complex.

SUNDAY FIRE:
The Sunday Fire located about four miles southeast of Stryker, MT, is 60 acres with 100% containment and is being patrolled daily to check for hotspots.

BARNABY FIRE:
The Barnaby Fire is located about four miles northeast of Eureka in steep, rugged terrain. The fire is being monitored from the air with helicopters available to drop water as needed. Fire remains 50 acres, 0% containment.

PERSONNEL AND RESOURCES: 285 personnel including 2 Type -1 crews, 4 Type – 2 crews, 6 engines,
2 helicopters (1 Type – 1 Chinook, 1 Type – 2), 2 dozers, 5 water tenders, and 4 skidlines.

SPECIAL MESSAGES/CLOSURES: There are Area Closures on the Fortine Ranger District, Kootenai National Forest, for both the Martson and Barnaby Fires. The Marston Fire Area Closure includes closure of Murphy Lake for the safety of firefighting equipment and the public, as helicopters dip water out of the lake. There is an additional Area Closure for the Marston Fire on the Hungry Horse-Glacier View Ranger District, Flathead National Forest, should the fire move into the area. See Inciweb for maps and explanations of closures.

For more information on the fires, visit: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/; Select “Northeast Kootenai Complex”

No responses yet

Aug 30 2015

Northeast Kootenai Complex morning update – Aug 30, 8:30 am

Flathead Hotshot on the Marston Fireline, Aug 23, 2015

Flathead Hotshot on the Marston Fireline, Aug 23, 2015

Here’s this morning’s report on the Northeast Kootenai Complex fires.

Of greatest interest to North Forkers is the Marston Fire, which made a run to the northeast recently, resulting in a precautionary closure of a section of the Flathead National Forest in the North Fork.

Also see the Northeast Kootenai Complex Proximity to Flathead NF Map for information on the position of the Marston Fire in relation to major North Fork features.


Information Officers: Katie Knotek, Tom Rhode & Meg Nemitz
Fire Information Line: (406) 882-8308
Office hours: 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Email: northeastkootenaicomplex@gmail.com

INCIDENT: Northeast Kootenai Complex (includes Barnaby, Marston, and Sunday Fires)
AGENCY JURISDICTION: USDA Forest Service, Kootenai & Flathead National Forests; Montana DNRC, Libby and Stillwater Units.
INCIDENT COMMANDER: Shawn Pearson, Northern Rockies Type II Incident Management Team (IMT). The Incident Command Post (ICP) is located at the Murphy Lake Ranger Station.

WEATHER & FIRE BEHAVIOR: Today, fire behavior is expected to decrease with the cold front moving through the area. Strong winds are predicted (gusts to 30+mph), however, temperatures will decrease to the low 60s with relative humidity increasing.

MARSTON FIRE:
The Marston Fire is estimated at 6,500 acres and containment has dropped back to 5% with the additional growth to the northeast. On the north side of the fire, crews are working in the bottom of Deep Creek preparing fireline and fuel breaks for when the fire backs down to the creek east of Jeager Mine. Nine miles of fuel break from Deep Creek south to near Sink Creek has held and is keeping the fire from moving west, while crews continue preparing line south and east to the Stillwater State Forest. A medium helicopter will be available to drop buckets of water as air/smoke conditions allow to assist firefighters with slowing the fire’s progression. The fire has NOT moved onto the Flathead National Forest and is approximately 20 miles away from Polebridge. Residents who are concerned about the fire are asked to contact the Northeast Kootenai Complex Fire Information Line and stay updated on the incident through the InciWeb site for the Northeast Kootenai Complex.

SUNDAY FIRE:
The Sunday Fire located about four miles southeast of Stryker, MT, is 60 acres with 100% containment and is being patrolled daily to check for hotspots.

BARNABY FIRE:
The Barnaby Fire is located about four miles northeast of Eureka in steep, rugged terrain. The fire is being monitored from the air with helicopters available to drop water as needed. Fire remains 50 acres, 0% containment.

PERSONNEL AND RESOURCES: 300 personnel including 2 Type -1 crews, 4 Type – 2 crews, 10 engines, 3 helicopters (2 Type – 1 Chinooks, 1 Type – 2), 4 dozers, 9 water tenders, and 4 skidgines.

SPECIAL MESSAGES/CLOSURES: There is an area closure for both the Martson and Barnaby Fires. The Martson Fire Closure includes closure of Murphy Lake for the safety of both firefighting equipment and the public, as helicopters dip out of Murphy Lake for water drops on the Marston Fire. A new Area Closure for Hungry Horse Ranger District, Flathead National Forest has been issued. See Inciweb for maps and explanations of closures.

A community meeting will be held this evening August 30, at 7:00 p.m. at the Trego Civic Center.

For more information on the fires, visit: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/; Select “Northeast Kootenai Complex”

Marston Fire Information Map, Aug 29, 2015

Marston Fire Information Map, Aug 29, 2015

No responses yet

« Prev - Next »