Lewis & Clark Nat’l Forest: Several Small Fires Burning
Ten fires are currently burning in the Rocky Mountain Ranger District on the Lewis & Clark National Forest. Three fires- Spotted Eagle, Muskrat Pass, and Mt. Poia- are the result of lightning strikes from a strong thunderstorm that passed through the area on Tuesday, August 11, and are collectively being managed as the Family Peak Wildfire Complex.
Spotted Eagle – The fire is burning in steep remote terrain in heavy timber. When first reported by Flathead Forest fixed wing aircraft at 4:00 pm on Aug 12, it was ½ acre. By 7:00 pm the fire was well established and actively burning. Growing to approximately 100 acres. On Friday, due to the strong winds and dry conditions, the fire increased to 500 acres.
· Muskrat Pass – Detected Aug 12 by Flathead Forest detection aircraft. Fire is actively burning in steep, remote terrain and heavy timber surrounded by rock. Currently the fire is approximately 5 acres.
· Mt. Poia – Detected on Aug 13. The fire is burning in heavy timber in steep remote terrain. Current size is 205 acres.
Fires are currently creeping and smoldering. 5 Forest Service personnel established structure protection at Badger cabin last Wednesday. The cabin is about 6 miles NW of the Spotted Eagle Fire. 2 fire personnel continue to provide wildfire information to backcountry visitors and implement trail closures.
As a result of heavy lightning Friday night, several new fires were detected in the district. A helicopter has been reassigned from Lincoln to be based in Augusta to help with the fires.
- Straight Creek – tried to use smokejumpers Saturday morning, but they were unable to jump the fire because of strong winds; a helicopter made several water drops on Sunday; a hand crew hiked in to the fire on Monday and completed mop-up and control. Fire estimated at 0.10 acre.
- Moose Ridge – 3 small fires; low activity; will size up today by air and develop strategies; has some potential to spread; installing structure protection on three administrative sites – Rock Creek, Gates Park and Cabin Creek
- Miner’s Creek – new fire detected; added to the Moose Ridge group
- Elbow Pass - low activity, surrounded by old burns; unstaffed; monitor status
- Ellis Creek – low activity, surrounded by old burns; unstaffed; monitor status
- Sugarloaf – low activity, surrounded by old burns; unstaffed; monitor status
- Three Sisters – Fire originated in the Flathead NF. As of Thursday, the fire has expanded and crossed the Divide at Sock Lake into the Rocky Mountain RD. Latest report said the fire had not yet burned down to the North Wall Trail.
Current Trail Closures:
Rocky Mountain Ranger District
#104 – S. Fork Badger closed in its entirety
#111 – Rock Creek closed in its entirety
#121 – N. Fork Birch Creek (West of junction w/ Trail #122)
#130 – Red Shale closed in its entirety
#131 – Moose Creek (East from point north of mouth of Three Lakes Creek to North Fork Sun River
#144 – Goat Mountain closed in its entirety
#145 – Muskrat Creek closed in its entirety
#146 – Crucifixion Creek closed in its entirety
#147 – Badger Pass closed in its entirety
#166 – Gates-Moose closed in its entirety
#174 – North Wall (S of junction w/ Trl #151)
#261 – Moose-Furman (for ~2 miles south from junction w/ Moose Ck #131)
Spotted Bear Ranger District
#147 – Muskrat Creek closed in its entirety
#161 – Strawberry Creek (from junction of #478 to #147)
#175 – Cox Creek (from junction of #338 to #147)
#338 – Cap Mountain (from junction of #478 the end)