Fire Information: (406) 758-5376
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Bear Creek Fire - Size: 70,610 Acres The Bear Creek Fire advanced slightly on its southern flank, reburning an area impacted by a previous wildfire. No structures were threatened by this expansion. A cooler, wetter weather pattern present over the last two days is forecasted to continue through later this week, providing firefighters with a window to continue containment efforts on spot fires and work on removal of hazard trees and slash associated with the shaded fuel break.
Crews have made significant progress on containment and mop-up of the three spot fires. The largest spot fire (76 acres) was contained yesterday; mop-up and hazard tree removal continues all along the Meadow Creek Road. Crews also focused on hazard tree removal and installing a check line where necessary around the smaller 5-acre and 0.5-acre spot fires. Handling hazard trees are especially important for road safety as well as the safety of firefighters. Prepping the forest for the busy hunting season is a priority, while crews continue to monitor fire progress and mitigate safety hazards within the burned area. No additional burn-outs are planned for today.
Structure protection (hoses, water pumps, and sprinklers) remains in place at the three guest ranches - Diamond R, Spotted Bear Ranch and Wilderness Lodge as well as the Spotted Bear Ranger Station itself. Some structure protection resources may be re-allocated towards helping with hazardous tree removal operations on the Bear Creek and Trail Creek Fire areas and surrounding access roads.
Trail Creek Fire - Size: 22,200 acres The Trail Creek Fire expanded slightly on the western side. In response, additional fire break was constructed and tied into an existing trail. Crews continued to primarily focus on hazard tree removal and improving safety throughout the area. Structure protection (wrapping buildings with fire resistant material and placing hoses, pumps and sprinklers in the area) for buildings at Schafer Meadows has been completed. A smaller staff of Type 1 and Type 2 firefighters will remain at the outpost, while the remaining staff will hike out and be reallocated to other areas on the fire.
120 personnel are assigned to the all of the fires on the Spotted Bear Ranger District.
· Due to increased fire activity and the number of fires on the Spotted Bear Ranger District in the Bob Marshall and Great Bear Wilderness Areas, the Bob Marshall and Great Bear Wilderness Areas on the Spotted Bear Ranger District are CLOSED for public and firefighter safety. Portions of the Great Bear Wilderness on the Hungry Horse Ranger District will be also be closed. (See attached maps)
· The Spotted Bear Campground is CLOSED and will be used for fire fighter staging areas.
· An Area Closure to the east and south of the Holland Lake Area including Upper Holland Lake, Sapphire Lakes, Holland Lookout, and the Holland/Gordon Trail #35. Trail #416 to Holland Falls is open. Holland Lake Lodge and the Holland Lake Campground are OPEN.
· The Flathead National Forest is in Stage II Fire Restrictions. All forest users are asked to comply and remain diligent on the risks that exist. For further information go to the Flathead National Forest web page: www.fs.usda.gov/flathead OR www.firerestrictions.us
Spotted Bear District Fires
A number of fires are burning throughout the Spotted Bear Ranger District. All of the fires have been prioritized based on availability of crews and values at risk. Most of the fires are unstaffed although they are being monitored for growth and fire behavior. Structure protection is in place at threatened backcountry cabins and work stations, including Shafer Meadows, Pentagon Cabin and Black Bear Cabin. Activity is generally low due to the rain; some active fire was observed as areas dried out and wind picked up.
The following fires are burning in the Spotted Bear River drainage:
· Three Sisters Fire 431 acres
The fire is burning in very steep, rocky terrain at high elevation in the upper portions of Three Sisters Creek in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. The fire has crossed over on to the Lewis and Clark National Forest. The fire is being managed to allow natural fire to play its ecological role in the Wilderness. As a precaution, the Rock Creek administrative cabin has been wrapped with fire resistant material. Trails are closed in the immediate area. See http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/lcnf/alerts-notices for details
· Goat Spur Fire 15 acres This fire is being managed along with the Three Sisters Fire
· Hart Lake Fire 144 acres Low activity
· Pentagon Fire 0.5 acre Fire has been lined and contained
The following fires are burning in the Middle Fork drainage - Great Bear/Bob Marshall Wilderness:
· Cap Mountain Fire 0.25 acres No smoke showing
· Bone Creek Fire 1 acre No smoke showing
· Burnt Creek Fire 1 acre No smoke showing
The following fires are burning in the South Fork drainage - Bob Marshall Wilderness:
· Woodward Fire 10 acre No smoke showing
· Babcock Creek Fire 1/4 acre This fire is smokeless at this time
· Tillson Fire 66 acres Low to moderate fire behavior
· Youngs Creek Fire 800 acres The fire is on the ridge between Ross Cr. and Devine Cr up to
Seeley Lake Ranger District boundary; low to moderate fire activity.
· Holbrook Fire 1/10th acre No smoke showing
· Rock Creek Fire 50 acre Backing slowly toward the White River
· Spring Lake Fire 993 acres Backing slowly toward the White River
· Lena Lake Fire 1500 acres Backing into Gordon Creek and towards Big Salmon Creek.
· Trident Fire 2 acre Staffed with 9 firefighters