The Flathead National Forest just released the following information report on the Cyclone Lake Fire. To view the original document (PDF format) click here. . . .
Fire Information: (406) 387-3802
Location: 23 miles north of Columbia Falls, MT, in the Coal Creek State Forest.
Detected: August 12, 2017, 4:30 p.m. Cause: Lightning
Legal Description: NE, Section 21, T34N, R21W;
Lat/Long: Lat. 48° 41’ 72”, Long. 114° 18’ 045”
Current size: 36 acres Containment: 10%
Resources on the fire: Crews: Two 20-person; Engines: 4 plus crew members; Water Tenders: 3; Dozers: 1; Helicopters: 2
Ownership: Montana Department of Natural Resources, Stillwater State Forest;
Jurisdiction: Flathead National Forest;
Other cooperators: Border Patrol, Flathead County.
FIRE SUMMARY: The Cyclone Lake Fire is burning in the Coal Creek State Forest in the North Fork area; the Flathead National Forest is responsible for wildfire response in that area. This fire is being managed with full suppression tactics, with fire fighter and public safety as a priority, in cooperation with Montana DNRC managers. The fire is burning in heavy timber, and in pockets of previously burned areas in 2000 and 2001, with dead and down fuels. There are no evacuation warnings in place.
August 12, when the fire was first detected by Cyclone Lookout, initial attack resources responded to the fire, including 4 engines, 1 dozer, 3 helicopters performing water drops, and retardant drops from air tankers. Extreme fire behavior was observed, including running, torching, and spotting. The Border Patrol assisted by securing the Forest Road #909.
Yesterday, August 13, dozer line was constructed around the fire where possible, and hand crews began building fire line to connect between the dozer lines. Water hoses with pumps were set up and used to cool the edges of the fire and mop up. A helicopter was also used to perform water drops. Fire behavior moderated with the cooler weather, with intermittent torching, creeping, and smoldering.
Today, plans are to continue constructing fire line with hand crews and do mop up work. The public is asked to not travel on Forest Road #909 from the junction with Forest Road #317 to the Cyclone Lookout Trailhead junction, as fire traffic is concentrated in that area.
The forest will share updated fire information if significant fire activity occurs.