Here is the official morning report on the fires in the Thompson-Divide Complex, including the Thompson, Sheep, Granite and Spruce blazes . . .
Incident: Thompson-Divide Complex Wildfire
Fire Information: (406) 387-4854/ (406) 314-1669, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
Resources – Total Personnel: 253 Injuries: 1 Structures Lost: None
Hand Crews: 4 20-person, 2 Wildland Fire Management Modules, 1 Helitack Crew (10), Smokejumpers (3)
Air Support: Helicopters (1 Type-1 & 3 Type-3), Engines: 8
The Thompson-Divide Complex is comprised of the Sheep, Granite, and Spruce Fires on Flathead National Forest and the Thompson Fire on Glacier National Park.
Highway 2 is closed at West Glacier and East Glacier, except to local residents. Call 511 or visit http://www.mdt.mt.gov/travinfo/alerts.shtml for current road status.Stage II Fire Restrictions are in effect for Northwest Montana.
A Red Flag Warning is in effect for active fire behavior until 8:00 pm today.Set stage alert to residents and businesses in the vicinity of Essex for possible evacuation.
The fires will experience warm and windy conditions with southwest winds up to 30-40 mph shifting to the northwest later in the day. The fires are expected to become more active with increased spread under these conditions. A mobile fire retardant base is being used for helicopter bucket drops. Smoke conditions are elevated throughout western Montana. Visit http://svc.mt.gov/deq/todaysair/ for air quality info. New closures are in effect for some trails in the vicinity of the fires for Glacier National Park and Flathead National Forest. For more info, please see Glacier NP page http://www.nps.gov/glac/index.htm or for Flathead NF call Hungry Horse Ranger District (406) 387-3800.
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 wooden trestle
Approximate Size: 232 acres Containment: 0% Structures Lost: None
Fire Update: The Sheep Fire is about 2.5 miles south of Essex in the Great Bear Wilderness of Flathead National Forest. It is burning in very steep, difficult terrain with limited access. The fire was very active yesterday with the influence of the predicted Red Flag weather conditions. The fire spread northeast toward the Middle Fork and was about ½ mile from the transportation corridor last evening. A heavy helicopter was effective in applying about 29,000 gallons of retardant on portions of the perimeter to slow spread.
Because of fire spread fire managers requested a closure of U.S. 2 at West Glacier (Mile Post 154) and East Glacier (MP209) with residents only allowed past these points. Access between MP178 (Walton) and MP185 (Bear Creek) have restrictions.Portions of the Highway 2 corridor around Essex remain in the ‘Set’ Stage of the Ready, Set, Go evacuation strategy. Residents of Essex and surrounding area are advised to prepare their property and themselves for possible evacuation. People should load critical property and needs into their vehicle in preparation. They should have an evacuation plan in place and make sure everyone knows the plan. Visit http://www.wildlandfirersg.org/ for more information.
A night shift operated last night to monitor fire conditions and spread.
Granite Fire, Flathead National Forest Link to http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4468/
Approximate Size: 65 acres Containment: 0%
Fire Update: The Granite Fire is west of Marias Pass and south of Hwy. 2 in the Great Bear Wilderness. It is burning in very steep terrain in a mixed conifer forest below a ridge. Thursday, crews assessed the area to determine the best plan of attack. They implemented structure protection measures on several backcountry cabins. Crews have been encountering numerous snags that need to be dealt with for safety before line construction. The Granite Creek Trail (#156) is closed.
Spruce Fire, Flathead National Forest Link to http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4468/
Approximate Size: 2 acres Containment: 0%
Fire Update: The Spruce Fire was added to the complex Aug. 19. The Spruce Fire is about 5 miles south of U.S. 2 at Bear Creek in the Great Bear Wilderness. Several smokejumpers and a small crew worked on establishing control lines to contain this small fire. The Spruce Park cabin is a special concern on this fire.
Thompson Fire, Glacier National Park Link to http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4468/
Approximate Size: 14,095 acres Containment: 0%
Structures At Risk: 2 historic cabins Structures Lost: None
Fire Update: The Thompson Fire is located in a remote south-central backcountry area of Glacier National Park about 15 miles east of the West Glacier entrance in the Thompson and Nyack drainage and west of the Continental Divide.Crews made good progress yesterday mopping up some edges from burnout operations earlier in the week to contain the fire. Today, crews will continue that effort. The fire remains west of the Divide and poses no threat to communities around East Glacier and St. Mary.Most of Glacier National Park is unaffected by this wildfire and is available for recreational use. Limited backcountry closures are in place. For more specific visitor information, please see the website http://www.nps.gov/glac/index.htm.
The Thompson Fire has not impacted any park roads. The Going-to-the-Sun Road is open.For information on the Reynolds Creek fire, please visit http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4405/#.