Tag Archives: Bob Marshall Wilderness

Fires in the Bob Marshall get bigger; fire danger now high in Flathead Forest

The U.S. Forest Service is starting to get busy. They’ve now got a 3,000 acre blaze in the Bob, after a couple of fires merged, as well as several smaller actions elsewhere. According to the following article from the Daily Inter Lake, they did manage to suppress a small wildfire in the North Fork’s Coal Creek drainage yesterday. . .

A fire that rapidly expanded in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex has merged with another fire to the east to cover a total of 3,000 acres by Monday afternoon.

The Rapid Creek Fire first was sized up at less than acre at midday Sunday, but by the afternoon it had grown to 500 acres and by Monday morning it was estimated at 1,000 acres.

The fire is located on the east side of the wilderness about 27 miles west of Augusta. The fire has been churning through heavy, beetle-killed timber across the Flathead Forest’s boundary with the Lewis and Clark National Forest, where It burned into the 700-acre Elbow Pass Fire by Monday afternoon.

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Searching for the biggest Western larch

Andrew Larson, an assistant professor of ecology at the University of Montana, is on the hunt for the biggest Western larch in the U.S. . . .

The largest Western larch in the land is a giant, standing 153 feet over the placid waters of Seeley Lake in a quiet, shady grove.

Visiting the tree is akin to a quest and standing in its presence, where the air is fresh and light, brings one a sense of serenity…

As large and distinguished as the old larch is, Larson thinks there’s a bigger tree awaiting discovery in northwest Montana’s vast tracts of wild and remote lands.

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Biologist tells Glacier employees that 1.3 million acres of roadless lands vulnerable

From the Missoulian . . .

Despite a legacy of conservation in the Crown of the Continent ecosystem, a biologist told Glacier National Park employees Tuesday that 1.3 million acres of roadless public lands remain vulnerable, and with them a suite of fish and wildlife species…

Although the core of the ecosystem is protected by the Bob Marshall, Scapegoat and Great Bear wildernesses – as well as the first-ever Tribal Wilderness in the Mission Mountains – 1.33 million acres of roadless area “is still up for grabs,” Weaver said…

…he stressed the importance of habitat connectivity along the periphery of conservation lands in the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem, and in particular on the Rocky Mountain Front, along the North and Middle Forks of the Flathead River, and in the Swan Range.

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Caution urged for backcountry hunters as fires persist

From the Daily Inter Lake . . .

With the early rifle season in wilderness areas opening today, the Spotted Bear Ranger District is urging backcountry hunters to be aware of multiple trail closures caused by ongoing wildfires in the Bob Marshall Wilderness.

And Forest Service officials advise there could be more trail closures with future fire growth. The National Weather Service is forecasting increased westerly winds, especially in higher terrain across Northwest Montana starting later today and continuing into Friday.

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Cool, damp weather helps slow fires

From the Daily Inter Lake . . .

Recent rains, higher humidities and lower temperatures have put a damper on fires still burning in Northwest Montana.

About a half inch of rain was recorded Wednesday at Spotted Bear and the Big Prairie Ranger station in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, where the 4,100-acre Big Salmon Lake Fire and the 5,100-acre Hammer Creek Fire have been burning for the last few weeks…

There was a similar effect on the South Fork Lost Creek Fire, which has burned 1,681 acres just outside the wilderness about seven miles south of Swan Lake…

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Area wildfires a bit larger, but not threats

From the Daily Inter Lake . . .

The Hammer Creek Fire appears to have doubled in size over the last two or three days, according to updated reports on three active fires in Northwest Montana.

The Hammer Creek Fire, now estimated at 2,800 acres, has burned northeast from the South Fork Flathead River basin into the Lime Creek drainage, where fire managers had wanted it to go because of rocky ridges and other natural barriers that will eventually slow it down.

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Crews gain ground against new local fires, older burns remain stable

From the Daily Inter Lake (with photos) . . .

Firefighters continued to tangle with a new fire east of Stryker while two fires in the Bob Marshall Wilderness were mostly unaffected by stiff winds Tuesday.

Soon after the Fitzsimmons Fire was detected Monday near the confluence of Fitzsimmons Creek and upper Stillwater Creek, it grew to 60 acres in steep, timbered terrain.

“They do have it 75 percent lined,” said Brian Manning, manager of the Stillwater State Forest. “The fire behavior was moderate enough that they could work on it directly today with some air support.”

The fire raises concerns about the potential for it to move upslope into the Whitefish Range.

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New wildfires keep fire crews busy

From today’s Daily Inter Lake . . .

Fire crews scrambled Monday to two new fires: one north of Whitefish and one southwest of Tally Lake.

One new wildfire is in the Stillwater State Forest at the junction of Fitzsimmons Creek and the Stillwater River…

Elsewhere, about six initial attack firefighters responded to a fire that was less than two acres southwest of Tally Lake, but it was enough of a handful for a helicopter and a 20-person crew to be called in to help…

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