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Montana Wildfire Update For August 09, 2021

A new fire over the weekend has torched roughly 1,300 acres near Absarokee, prompting fire officials on Sunday to evacuate nearby residents.

The Trout Creek Fire in Stillwater County forced evacuations from the intersection of Stillwater Rd. and Spring Creek Rd, west to Sandy Dr., including Beehive, Midnight Canyon and Grove Creek Subdivisions.

The Red Cross has set up an evacuation site at the Anipro Arena in Absarokee.

The fire started Saturday and it’s unknown what caused it, according to the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.

The Cascade County Sheriff has rescinded all evacuation orders and warnings due to the Harris Mountain Fire burning roughly 31,500 acres, 10 miles southeast of Cascade.

As of 10:45 a.m. Monday, all orders and warnings had been lifted, according to Inciweb.

The blaze is 43% contained.

The Lincoln County Sheriff has downgraded evacuations to pre-evacuation warnings for residents affected by the roughly 10,300-acre South Yaak Fire.

The sheriff’s office has notified residents on Kilbrennan Lake Road and Eastside Road of the change, according to a post on the sheriff’s Facebook. Officials ask returning residents to be mindful of fire crews working in the area.

That area and Seventeen Mile Road remains closed to the general public.

The fire is 34% contained.

The Missoula County Sheriff canceled evacuation warnings on U.S. Highway 12 from Martin Creek to the Idaho border due to the Granite Pass Complex Fire.

The 5,739-acre fire consists of four wildfires burning in the area of Lolo Pass on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests in Idaho and the Lolo National Forest in Montana.

It’s 13% contained.

The Woods Creek Fire burning 16 miles northeast of Townsend nearly doubled over the weekend and has now burnt roughly 4,100 acres, causing brief evacuations that were later lifted.

The Meagher County Sheriff on Sunday rescinded an evacuation order about an hour-and-a-half after it was issued for residents in the Grassy Mountain area, according to a Facebook post. However, the residents are in pre-evacuation warning status, meaning they should be ready to leave if conditions worsen.

On Friday, the fire was estimated to have burnt 20,671 acres. By Monday, that number had blown up to 40,157 acres.

Fire officials estimate containment at 3%.

Some residents previously evacuated due to the Boulder 2700 Fire burning 9 miles east of Polson were allowed to return to their homes Monday morning.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office allowed residents whose homes are outside the fire perimeter and just north of the fire area near mile marker 11 up to mile marker 13.5 near Blue Bay to return home, according to InciWeb. The area from mile marker 9 to 11 remains evacuated because of hazards including unstable trees, rocks and rolling debris on slopes, and fire personnel working in the area.

The sheriff has set up a highway closure checkpoint at mile marker 11.

Mission Valley Power is working on restoring power in the area.

The Boulder 2700 Fire is 31% contained.

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These wildfire updates prioritize the latest information on incidents that could impact public health and safety. This is not a comprehensive list of fires burning in the state. The fires we report on will vary as information changes.

Updated August 9, 10 a.m.

Location: Stillwater County near Absarokee

Size: 1,335 acres

Containment: 0%

Evacuation orders and warnings: Evacuations from the intersection of Stillwater Rd. and Spring Creek Rd, west to Sandy Dr., including Beehive, Midnight Canyon and Grove Creek Subdivisions.

Cause: Unknown

Start Date: August 7

https://gis.dnrc.mt.gov/apps/firemap/

Updated August 9, 12:30 p.m.

Location: 7 miles southeast of Cascade

Size: 31,591 acres

Containment: 43%

Evacuation orders and warnings: Cascade County Sheriff has rescinded all evacuation orders and warnings.

Cause: Lightning

Conditions: The low pressure center that brought the cold front and rain will move east of the area today. This will decrease the chance of showers through the day as drier and warmer air moves over the area. Expect chilly conditions tonight. High pressure will bring a warming and drying trend through at least Wednesday.

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7719/

Updated August 9, 10 a.m.

Location: West Lolo Complex includes the Thorne Creek Fire, near Thompson Falls

Size: 21,967 acres

Containment: 15%

Evacuation orders and warnings: All residences in the Harlow and Ashley zones.

Conditions: Light rain and below average temperatures lead to minimal fire activity on Sunday. Backing fire, from firing operations completed prior to the weather change, continued moving down slope in Dry Gulch and the Ashley Creek drainage. Hand firing was utilized to tie the fire into Ashley Creek. Fire personnel worked to strengthen control lines by extinguishing heat along the edge of the fire perimeter which adds depth to established control lines north and east of Thompson Falls.

Fire behavior will be minimal this morning but is expected to increase through the day as temperature warm and humidity levels begin to drop. With containment achieved and evacuation levels reduced in Divisions Charlie and Zulu, personnel will be focused on improving the dozer line near the Deep Creek burn scar and conducting mop op operations along the fire perimeter. Crews in Division November will monitor fire activity focusing on the Ashley Creek drainage. As activity increases, crews will assess the need for any additional firing or suppression actions. Divisions Juliet and Echo will be monitored for fire activity throughout the day.

Cause: Lightning

Meetings:

More fire information: https://www.facebook.com/WestLoloComplex

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7620/

Updated August 9, 10 a.m.

Complex Location: 35 miles southwest of Missoula

Complex includes:

Shotgun Fire: on the Powell Ranger District located seven miles north of Powell Junction on Highway 12.

Boulder Creek Fire: 8 miles west of Lolo Pass Visitor Center.

BM Hill Fire: ten miles north of Powell Junction.

Lolo Creek Fire: located between mile marker 1 and 2 along the Highway 12 corridor about 1 mile west of Highway 12, and 1.5 miles northwest of the Lolo Pass Visitor Center

Complex Size: 5,739 acres

Containment: 13%

Evacuation orders and warnings: The Missoula County Sheriff’s Office canceled an evacuation warning on Monday at 9:30 a.m. that was in place from mile marker 10 on U.S. Highway 12 to mile marker 0 at the Idaho border.

Major closures: Highway 12 is open but officials ask travelers to not stop along the road.

Conditions:Today the fire received over a quarter inch of precipitation with temperatures in the low 50s and humidity down to the mid 50s and southwest winds gusting into the teens.

Tomorrow will start a warming and drying trend as a ridge builds over the region. Temperatures will be in the upper 60s and low 70s with humidity dropping into the 40s. Winds will be SW 5-7 mph gusting in the low teens.

Cause: Lightning

Meetings: A virtual public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, August 10 at 6:00 p.m. The meeting will be streamed live on the Granite Pass Facebook page. If people wish, they can submit questions before the meeting starts to 2021.granitepasscomplex@firenet.gov or call the fire information line at 406-624-9176.

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7653/

https://www.facebook.com/GranitePassComplex/

Updated August 9, 10 a.m.

Location: 24 miles SW of Harlowton, MT

Size: 19,028 acres

Containment: 10%

Evacuation orders and warnings: A pre-evacuation warning remains in place for residences in the Shields River Road area.

An evacuation order for Smith Creek subdivision was issued by the Meagher County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday, 7/31. If evacuated residents of the Smith Creek Subdivision need access to properties, residents must have express, written permission from the Meagher County Sheriff’s Office or Park County Sheriff’s Office per county of residence. Requests must be made in person.

Major closures: Custer-Gallatin National Forest Closure map here.

Conditions: High clouds this morning with good humidity recoveries across the area. Expect humidity to drop to the low 20's this afternoon with strong westerly ridgetop and valley winds. Slight chance of thunderstorms over the higher terrain in the late afternoon.

Meetings:

Cause: Lightning

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7681/

Updated August 9, 10 a.m.

Location: About 5 miles west of Neihart

Size: 9,834 acres

Containment: 45%

Evacuation orders and warnings: The Cascade County Sheriff has issued an evacuation order for Belt Park. A pre-evacuation order has been issued for the area from the Belt Creek Ranger Station to Monarch and from west of Monarch to the confluence of Pilgrim Creek and Belt Creek.

Major closures:

Conditions: The fire received solid rainfall yesterday, ranging from ¾ to 1-1/4 inches. Diminished fire behavior is expected today on all divisions due to the rainfall. Areas of heat, such as those south of Thunder Mountain, may show back up tomorrow as fuels dry. Crews will be in monitor and patrol status today.

Cause: Lightning

Meetings:

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7719/

Updated August 6, 2:40 p.m.

Location: 6 miles southwest of Boulder, MT

Size: 52 acres

Containment: 50%

Conditions: Chance for precipitation Friday night with varying wind speeds and possible lightning.

Cause: Undetermined

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7749/

Updated August 9, 10 a.m.

Location: 11 miles Northeast of Philipsburg, MT

Size: 212 acres

Containment: 75%

Evacuation orders and warnings:

Major closures: UPDATES ON CLOSURES EXPECTED TO CHANGE SOON. The area surrounding the Goat Fire is closed. Fire officials ask if you do not need to access the area, please don’t. The public accessing the area requires firefighting operations to pause for safety reasons, delaying firefighting efforts.

Conditions: ...RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 PM MDT THIS EVENING...

The possibility of showers will end during the morning and clearing begins after. Westerly winds will stay constant through the day.

Cause: Lightning

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7694/

Updated August 6, 3:13 p.m.

Location: 20 miles north of Ovando

Size: 3,060 acres

Containment: 0%

Major closures: A list of public land closures can be found here.

Conditions: There are no structures currently threatened. Weather is expected to continue to be unsettled through the weekend, with thunderstorms and a chance of rain forecasted.

Cause: Lightning

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/7660/62604/

Updated August 9, 10 a.m.

Location: 16 miles northeast of Townsend

Size: 40,157 (Aug. 6 at 2 p.m.= 20,671 acres)

Containment: 3%

Evacuation orders and warnings: In Meagher County Sunday an evacuation order was issued and then lifted for residents in the Grassy Mountain area due to the Woods Creek Fire burning 16 miles northeast of Townsend. A section of Highway 12 was also briefly closed.

Major closures: Forest Service closures can be found here.

Meetings:

Cause: Lightning

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7649/

Updated August 9, 10 a.m.

Location: About 9 miles southwest of Troy

Size: 3,560 acres

Containment: 46%

Evacuation orders and warnings: Residences in North Fork Keeler Creek have been placed in the Set category, on pre-evacuation notice. All area residents should be ready to leave if evacuations are necessary.

Conditions: For Monday and the remainder of the week, a warming and drying trend is expected under mostly sunny skies. Temperatures will rise back to above normal, likely hitting the triple digits in the lowlands, with valley humidity values dipping into the teens. Overnight temperature inversions are expected to develop keeping ridge humidity recoveries much lower than the valleys.

Major closures: Forest service in the area can be found here.

Cause: Lightning

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7619

Updated August 9, 10 a.m.

Location: Mission Mountains east of Flathead Lake and 9 miles east of Polson.

Size: 2,072 acres

Containment: 31%

Evacuation orders and warnings: Beginning at 10:00 a.m. this morning, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office will allow re-entry to properties outside of the fire perimeter and just north of the fire area near mile marker 11 up to mile marker 13.5 near Blue Bay. Mission Valley Power is working to restore power to this area. The Sheriff’s highway closure checkpoint will be at mile marker 11. Access to and from this area will only be from the north of the Boulder 2700 fire, coming south on Highway 35 from Bigfork.

Major closures: Highway 35 remains closed to through traffic in both directions from Polson at the Highway 93/35 junction to Blue Bay mile marker 15. The speed limit is 35 mph within the area past mile marker 2 to protect firefighters and the public.

Effective immediately, a Temporary Boating Restriction will go into effect on Flathead Lake in the immediate vicinity of the Boulder 2700 Fire.

Conditions:Beneficial precipitation occurred over the fire with no evidence of debris flow in high severity burned areas in the WUI.

Cause: Under Investigation

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7754/

Updated August 9, 10 a.m.

Location: 4 miles northwest of Troy

Size: 10,388 acres

Containment: 34%

Evacuation orders and warnings: Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office has mandatory evacuations in place for all residents on East Side Road and Kilbrennan Lake Road. Residences in Pine Creek, 17 Mile Creek, East Side Road, Kilbrennan Lake Road and Sylvanite are on pre-evacuation notice.

Cause: Lightning

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7696/

Updated August 9, 10 a.m.

Location: 4 miles west of Polebridge

Size: 2,894 acres

Containment: 23%

Meeting: Wednesday, Aug. 11, at 6 p.m. at the Sondreson Hall.

Evacuation orders and warnings: All residences east and west of the North Fork Road from Home Ranch Bottoms north to and including Moose Creek Road and the community of Polebridge are under evacuation warnings. Glacier National Park has issued an evacuation warning for the North Fork area of the park north of Logging Creek. See details at https://go.usa.gov/xFjcA and Current Fire Information - Glacier National Park.

Major closures: Road and trail closures here.

Cause: Lightning

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7712/

Updated August 5, 4:23 p.m.

Location: 8 miles south east of Arlee

Size: 1,000 acres

Containment: 0% as of August 1

Evacuation orders and warnings: None

Major closures: St. Mary’s to the North Forks is closed. The main Jocko Road is closed through the 3000 Rd junction.

Cause: Lightning

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7759/

Updated August 9, 10 a.m.

Location: About 7 miles west of Wise River

Size: 11,655 acres

Containment: 10%

Evacuation orders and warnings: The Beaverhead County Sheriff on Aug. 4 ordered evacuations on the Southside of Highway 43 from Alder Creek Road to Dickie Bridge and the on the westside of the Scenic Byway from the Wisdom Airport to Harriette Lou Road.

The Beaverhead County Sheriff has issued an evacuation warning for the Alder Creek Community and Highway 43 from mile marker 35 to the county line at mile marker 41.5. This includes Doolittle Creek Road and North Doolittle Creek Road. The Sheriff’s Office says there is a high probability of the need for evacuation in this area.

Major closures: Closures for the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest here.

Conditions: Temperatures are only expected to climb into the 60s, with relative humidity values dropping into the 25 to 30% range. A warming and drying trend is expected through the middle to end of this upcoming week.

Cause: Unknown

More fire information: https://www.facebook.com/AlderCreekandTrailCreekFires

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7641/

Updated August 9, 11 a.m.

Location: 12 miles west of Wise River

Size: 8,575 acres

Containment: 0%

Evacuation orders and warnings:

Major closures: Forest Closure Orders are in effect for the fire area, see Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest closures here https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/bdnf/alerts-notices

Conditions: Monday will be much cooler, with breezy west winds behind the cold front. Temperatures are only expected to climb into the 60s, with relative humidity values dropping into the 25 to 30% range. A warming and drying trend is expected through the middle to end of this upcoming week.

Cause: Unknown

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7702/

Updated August 8, 8 a.m.

Location: 20 miles west of Wisdom, MT

Size: 35,908 acres

Containment: 23%

Major closures: Big Hole National Battlefield is closed. North and South Van Houten, Miner Lakes, Twin Lakes, May Creek and Divide Bridge Campgrounds are closed.

Conditions: Minimal fire activity with smoldering, creeping and flanking.

The area received precipitation during the operational period.

Cause: Lightning

More fire information: https://www.facebook.com/AlderCreekandTrailCreekFires

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7634/

Updated August 6, 9:50 a.m.

Location: 13 miles south of Jackson, MT. 20 miles east of Salmon, ID

Size: 1,042 acres

Containment: 0%

Major closures: Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest closures here. Salmon-Challis National Forest closures here.

Cause: Lightning

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7691/

Updated August 5, 4:50 p.m.

Location: 8 miles south of Swan Lake in the Whitetail drainage

Size: 348 acres

Containment: 30%

Evacuation orders and warnings: No structures are threatened at this time.

Major closures: Whitetail Creek Road and the southern half of Porcupine Creek road are closed.

Cause: Lightning

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7767/

Updated August 9, 10 a.m.

Location: The dry range-east fork about 2.5 miles southwest of Smith River.

Size: 1,277 acres

Containment: 80%

Cause: Lightning

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7767/

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