Blog Cabin

Entries in Montana fires (290)

Thursday
Aug042011

Crews close to controlling Kennedy Creek Fire

(PARADISE)- It’s still not an easy job, but fire crews are starting to get the upper hand on the stubborn Kennedy Creek Fire burning near Paradise in the Lower Clark Fork Valley.

The lightning-caused fire broke out after a thunderstorm earlier this week and has been burning in steep, rugged terrain on the mountains overlooking the valley near the confluence of the Clark Fork and the Flathead River.

The fire has been difficult not only because of the terrain, but because of the rolling rocks and trees on the steep mountainside.

But this afternoon, Lolo National Forest fire managers say the fireline is holding and the blaze is still about 70-acres in size. Crews have been working to eliminate as many hazardous trees as possible, and keeping debris from crossing the line and spreading the fire. Firefighters are also using blivets, or portable water bags to begin mopping up efforts.

No firefighters have been released from the scene, but fire managers remain optimistic about the progress they’ve been making.

Wednesday
Aug032011

Crews still battling fire near Paradise

(PARADISE)- Fire managers are depending on aircraft to try and get a handle on the growing Kennedy Creek fire in the lower Clark Fork Valley.

The lightning-caused fire started in steep, rugged terrain overlooking the valley and the confluence of the Flathead and North Fork Rivers on Monday, with the fire nearly doubling in size since then.

Lolo National Forest says aircraft is proving to be crucial in fighting the blaze, given the limited access for ground crews.

Helicopters continue to drop buckets of water along the fire front today, while crews are trying to punch a fireline around the perimeter of the blaze. (USFS photo)

Incident Commander Jon Airhart stated that approximately 10 percent of the fire is contained at this time. 

Managers say the success of the containment efforts will highly depend on rolling debris and the potential for winds to pick up. 

Monday
Aug012011

Fire near Garrison contained, fire near Paradise still burning

(GARRISON)-  The Old Baldy fire, located on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) ground near Windy Rock Mountain is 100% contained this afternoon and crews are being released from the fire.

The fire, which was caused by lightning, was first spotted on Friday.

The Flathead Hotshots are being released today.  The Ridge Runners, a State Department of Corrections 20-person crew, will remain on the fire with engine crews from the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) for at least one more day to make certain the fire is completely out.

Meanwhile, crews are working on a new lightning-caused fire near Paradise in the Lower Clark Fork Valley. KPAX TV is reporting a 20-person crew is fighting the 21-acre blaze, which is burning in steep terrain above the valley (photo from Juan Lulack)

Monday
Aug012011

Forecasters see "below normal" fire danger this month

(BOISE)- It doesn't mean there won't be fires. But the August 1st forecast from the region's fire managers shows a "below normal" risk of wildfire in the Northern Rockies this month.

That's the outlook contained in the latest update from the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, the agency that tracks fire weather across the West.

Forecasters say while the conditions that created our long, wet winter and spring in Idaho and Montana this spring are gone, the weather patterns off the coast have continued cool and moist. That's kept some snow in the high country and mountain areas wetter than usual for mid-summer.

And with days growing shorter and the peak of summer temperatures passing, fire danger should be at normal levels come mid-September.

Sunday
Jul312011

Crews still working Avalanche Butte Fire

(HELENA)- Fire crews are still working to keep the Avalanche Butte fire near Helena from spreading onto private lands.

And so far, the efforts are working despite the winds and hot temperatures of the past couple of days, with the fire still at about 40-acres.

The fire, which is believed to have started from lightning, is burning in sub-alpine fire and whitebark pine at the head of Avalanche Gulch. The terrain is known for naturally-occurring fires, so eventually fire managers say the blaze will actually help improve terrain for wildlife and livestock grazing on the forest. They also say the location of the fire in the Big Belt Mountains will help break up the fuels in the area to help manage future wildfires under more extreme conditions. (U.S.F.S. photo)

But for now, firefighters are trying to suppress the fire to keep it from spreading onto private property, and keep the blaze burning in a designated area.

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