MTPR

asbestos

The Libby eagle sits above downtown Libby, Montana.
Nicky Ouellet

In about a year, the Environmental Protection Agency will leave Libby, where it’s worked for the last two decades to clean up asbestos contamination, a lethal byproduct leftover from W.R. Grace’s vermiculite mine. But locals in Lincoln County say the EPA packing up doesn’t necessarily mean cleanup work is done.

Glacier National Park

Update 4:58 p.m.

The Highway 37 Fire that was threatening the former WR Grace asbestos mine north of Libby is now 100 percent contained.

Shawn Ray-Delmas, a spokesperson for the Kootenai National Forest, says the wildfire was fully contained a few days before an official announcement was made Monday.

Montana Wildfire Roundup For July 30, 2018

Jul 30, 2018
The Lee Creek fire burning near Lolo Hot Springs was spotted July 29, 2018 from a Forest Service detection flight.
Lolo National Forest

 


Updated and corrected: 5:35 p.m., 07/30/18

Twenty fires have flared up in the Kootenai National Forest, all caused by lightning from weekend storms.

Most of the fires are only burning a few acres, but the Davis Fire is now reported at 1,000 acres in size, according to a post on the Kootenai National Forest Facebook page. A fire spokesperson told MTPR Monday afternoon that the Davis fire was only 50 acres.

Members Of The Chloeta crew, Nolan Buckingham, Jaime Garcia and Aaron Turner at the Highway 37 fire near Libby, MT.
Nolan Buckingham

Before firefighters entered the Modified Fire Response Zone of the asbestos-contaminated forest near Libby to suppress the Highway 37 Fire, they donned full-face respirators, and recited a poem.

"You ready? When the sunlight strikes raindrops in the air, they act like a prism and form a rainbow. The rainbow is a division of white light into many beautiful colors …"

U.S. Forest Service

Highway 37 Fire, Kootenai National Forest Update 5:22 p.m. July 23, 2018

The Highway 37 Fire burning near Libby’s asbestos superfund site is 10 percent contained as of Monday afternoon. The 50-acre blaze did not grow much over the weekend. A team of 10 specially trained firefighters, a decontamination crew, a hotshot team and two engine crews made progress digging containment line around the fire’s perimeter, aided by helicopter dousing hot spots.

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