‘Northeast Kootenai Complex’ created for Marston Fire and others in the area

Marston Fire actively burning, Aug 14, 2015
Marston Fire actively burning, Aug 14, 2015

A cluster of wildland fires on the west side of the Whitefish Divide is now being handled as the “Northeast Kootenai Complex” under the control of Shawn Pearson’s Type II Incident Management Team. By far the largest fire in this group — and the one of primary interest on the North Fork — is the Marston Fire. Others include the Barnaby, Sunday, Weigel and Dunn blazes.

Here is the morning update for August 16 . . .

Northeast Kootenai Complex

August 16, 2015 10:00 a.m.

Information Officers: Claire Pitner, 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; The complex includes the Barnaby, Marston, Sunday, Weigel and Dunn 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 similar to yesterday with cooler temperatures (mid-70s) and higher relative humidity (20-30%). This will continue to moderate fire behavior on all fires, with little to no fire growth expected.

MARSTON & BARNABY FIRES: The Marston Fire is estimated at 1,500 acres and the Barnaby Fire at 5 acres. Both fires are located near Eureka, MT on the Fortine Ranger District, Kootenai National Forest. Today on the Marston Fire, firefighters will continue work on a fuel break on the east side of Deep Creek. On the Barnaby Fire, a Hotshot crew will hike into the fire area to assess the situation and plan for future operations. No evacuations are currently in effect for either of these fires.

WEIGEL & DUNN FIRES: The Weigel Fire is approximately 100 acres and the Dunn Fire is 74 acres. Both fires are located near Libby, MT on the Libby Ranger District, Kootenai National Forest. Fireline has been established around the full perimeter of each fire. Today, firefighters will continue wetting along the fireline and into the fire perimeter.

SUNDAY FIRE: The Sunday Fire is approximately 150 acres and is located on the Tally Lake Ranger District, Flathead National Forest and Fortine Ranger District, Kootenai National Forest. Fireline has been constructed around a good portion of the fire perimeter. The focus today will be to snag hazard trees in the fire area before completing the remaining line construction.

PERSONNEL AND RESOURCES: 224 personnel, including 2 – Type 1 crews, 2 – Type 2 crews, 16 engines, 7 dozers, 3 feller-bunchers, 6 skidgons and 6 water tenders.

SPECIAL MESSAGES/CLOSURES: An area closure is in effect for the Marston Fire and is posted on Inciweb. A community meeting will be held tonight at the Trego Civic Center at 7:00 p.m.