Here is the official morning report on the wildfires in the Northeast Kootenai Complex, including the Barnaby, Marston, Sunday and Weigel blazes . . .
Fire Information Line: (406) 882-8308
Office hours: 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
INCIDENT: Northeast Kootenai Complex (includes Barnaby, Marston, Sunday, and Weigel 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: A red flag warning is in effect for today due to windy conditions and the possibility of thunderstorms. A cold front will move into the area around 2pm, bringing wind and possible lightning. This evening around 8 or 9pm, a second cold front will move into the area with shifting winds from the north to northeast and up to 1/10th of an inch of rain. Weekend weather will be dry with cooler temperatures.
MARSTON & BARNABY FIRES:
The Marston Fire is estimated at 3,200 acres and the Barnaby fire at 40 acres. Both fires are located near Eureka, MT on the Fortine Ranger District, Kootenai National Forest. Today on the Marston Fire, crews will begin to secure the line along the eastern edge of the fire. They will also begin to put dozer line near the southeast edge of the perimeter to prevent the fire’s spread into the Stillwater State Forest. The structure group will finish their structure assessment of properties in the Laughing Water Creek and Graves Creek areas. A population protection plan has been established to determine when evacuations would take place in the vicinity of the Marston Fire if the need arises. A copy of the plan can be found on the Northeast Kootenai Complex Inciweb page (link listed below). No evacuations are currently in effect. The Barnaby Fire will continue to be monitored with the National Guard Chinooks available for water drops when needed.
The Weigel Fire is 100% contained and has been returned to Montana DNRC management.
The Sunday Fire is estimated at 60 acres. The Sunday fire is located on the Fortine Ranger District, Kootenai National Forest. Fireline has been constructed around the majority of the fire perimeter. Crews will complete fireline today and continue to wet hotspots. A population protection plan has been established to determine when evacuations would take place in the vicinity of the Sunday Fire. A copy of the plan can be found on the Northeast Kootenai Complex Inciweb page (link listed below). No evacuations are currently in effect.
General Quinn and staff of the Montana National Guard, as well as a staffer from Governor Bullock’s office, visited Helibase yesterday to see how the 2 National Guard chinooks were assisting with firefighting efforts. They have been dropping water on the Marston and Barnaby Fires and will continue these efforts today.
PERSONNEL AND RESOURCES: 331 personnel, including 3 – Type 1 crews, 4 – Type 2 crews, 16 engines, 2 Type 1 helicopters, 1 Type 3 helicopter, 6 dozers, 2 excavators, 3 feller-bunchers, and 8 water tenders.
SPECIAL MESSAGES/CLOSURES: A new area closure is in effect for the Barnaby Fire in addition to the closure for the Marston Fire. See Inciweb for maps and explanations of the closures. A community meeting will be held tonight, August 21, at the Eureka High School at 7:00 p.m.
For more information, visit: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/; Select “Northeast Kootenai Complex”