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Wildfire, fire management and air quality news for western Montana and the Northern Rockies.

Montana Wildfire Roundup For August 9, 2018

Firefighters work the lines on the Garden Creek Fire during the night of August 8, 2018.
Firefighters work the lines on the Garden Creek Fire during the night of August 8, 2018.

The people evacuated from one house due to the Garden Creek Fire north of Hot Springs yesterday were allowed to return today. Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Fire Prevention Specialist CT Camel says crews burned around the house at the bottom of 5,000 Road, put a line around it and dropped retardants.

The fire (the biggest currently burning in Montana) was last reported to be just over 2,000 acres after it grew substantially from 524 acres Tuesday.

Camel says the fire is now more under control than Tuesday night.

“It looks like they got a little handle on it after Tuesday night’s big blow-up," Camel says. "The IC [Incident Commander] said operations went very well yesterday. They had a priority on the south end, they took care of it, started securing lines with hand crews and air resources and they were able to burn out those areas.” 

Camel says today’s high temperatures are troubling.

“Today their main focus was fire activity was going to increase because of the triple digits," he says. "It’s going to be over 100 degrees over there today and they were going to try to make sure they secure those lines.”

A community meeting is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 10 at 10 a.m. at the Hot Springs Senior Citizen Center where fire managers will be available to give the public an update about the fire and answer questions.

The Goldstone Fire, five miles west of Reservoir Lake near Goldstone Pass in the Bitterroot Mountains, is at 440 acres, up from 125 acres yesterday. It is 0 percent contained. Around 25 acres of the fire crossed onto the Idaho side of the Continental Divide.

A section of the Continental Divide Trail is now closed, starting at Lemhi Pass and continuing north to Jahnke Mine. The Reservoir Lake Campground and the Bloody Dick Rental Cabin are also closed.

The growth is attributed to yesterday’s hot, dry temperatures and winds. Fire activity is expected to grow as a cold front moves into the area on Saturday, bringing high temperatures, low humidity, wind, and dry thunderstorms.

Firefighters plan to continue to build line around the perimeter, deal with spot fires, and try to contain the portion of fire that crossed over into Idaho.

The Brownstone Fire burning in the Bob Marshall Wilderness is burning 1,086 acres, up from 270 acres Tuesday. Firefighters are monitoring the burn from the air and ground. Some firefighters and resources are stationed at Big Prairie Work Center in anticipation of protecting structures and surrounding areas.

The Tenmile Fire in the Rexford-Fortine District of the Kootenai National Forest has grown slowly throughout the week and is now 663 acres, up from 525 on Monday. Crews plan to continue to build fire lines and watch for spot fires. Air operations will continue as needed. It is 15 percent contained.

For the Bacon Rind Fire, a community meeting is scheduled for Wednesday August 15, 2018 at 7 p.m. at the Community Protestant Church, 505 N Electric Street, West Yellowstone, MT.

More hot temperatures and dry conditions are expected for tomorrow.

A red flag warning will be in effect for much western Montana from noon Friday to midnight Saturday.

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