Montana Public Radio

Kootenai National Forest

The Howe Ridge Fire in Glacier National Park as seen from Apgar Beach, August 12, 2018.
Glacier National Park

Update 5:22 p.m.

Officials in Glacier National Park now say that, “a number of structures were lost last night” in the Howe Ridge wildfire that was sparked by lighting Saturday.

They estimate the size of the fire on the north end of Lake McDonald at 1,500 to 2,500 acres and have offered no estimate of containment. A press release says two water scooping aircraft are drawing water from Lake McDonald and, along with a helicopter are “working to establish a secure anchor point from which to fight the fire.”

National Park Service

Update 9:45

Glacier National Park officials have expanded the evacuation order to include all businesses and private residences within the Lake McDonald Lodge complex, including the historic Lake McDonald Lodge. Visitors and employees were notified of the need to evacuate at around 9 PM. The Going-to-the-Sun Road is closed from Lake McDonald Lodge to Logan Pass.

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


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.

Inciweb


A weekend of lower temperature and higher humidity brought no substantial new wildfire starts across the state, and allowed firefighters to make a dent in existing blazes. 

Forecasters say to expect increasing fire danger and more smoke as the week progresses. 

Montana Wildfire Roundup For August 2, 2018

Aug 2, 2018
What is a red flag warning?
National Weather Service

The National Weather Service says fire-weather conditions now exist across much of Montana, with high temperatures, low humidity and strong wind gusts forecast through tomorrow. Red flag warnings are in effect.

Significant Wildland Fire Potential August 2018.
National Interagency Fire Center

A five-acre fire started around 4 p.m. Wednesday near Alberton. Lolo National Forest spokesperson Boyd Hartwig says the fire is burning mostly grass, and that it’s not yet known if the fire is human-caused.

Montana Wildfire Roundup For July 31, 2018

Jul 31, 2018
Fire Danger very high today.
Josh Burnham

Since Monday, one new fire has been discovered in the Kootenai National Forest. The Ten Mile Fire is burning 15 to 20 acres in the Rexford and Fortine Ranger Districts. That brings to 21 the number of lightning-caused fires discovered on the Kootenai since this weekend.

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.

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.

Firefighter safety is of particular concern on the Highway 37 Fire north of Libby because of its proximity to a patch of asbestos-contaminated forest.

Among the 50 firefighters working the blaze is a group of 10 specially trained responders. They wear respirators and undergo a full body decontamination after digging fire line in a section of forest with high levels of asbestos fibers, a harmful remnant of the old W.R. Grace vermiculite mine.

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