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 few days.
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.
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 will be mostly cloudy with temperatures in the 50’s, relative humidity around 50%, and winds 6 to 12 mph from the southwest. A cold front is expected to push through the area around noon with a slight chance of rain (.05” to .10”). Based on these conditions, minimal 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.
The Marston Fire is at 7,000 acres based on data received from an infrared flight, containment is 25%. On the North side of the fire, crews are continuing to mop up along the fireline in the bottom of Deep Creek and monitor the fire backing down to the creek east of Jeager Mine. Fireline from Deep Creek south to about one mile above Sink Creek, continues to hold and is keeping the fire from moving west. Crews continue to hold and improve line and may continue burnout operations between the indirect line and the fire perimeter south towards Sink Creek to secure fireline if weather permits. 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.
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.
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 60 acres, 0% containment.
PERSONNEL AND RESOURCES: 213 personnel including 2 Type -1 crews, 3 Type – 2 crews, 2 engines, 3 helicopters (2 Type – 1 Chinook, 1 Type – 2), 1 dozer, 2 water tenders, and 1 skidgine.
SPECIAL MESSAGES/CLOSURES: There are Area Closures on the Fortine Ranger District, Kootenai National Forest, for both the Marston 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.
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”