Spotted Eagle, Benchmark Fire Update 9-1-15 1:30pm
Community Meeting Thursday evening in Choteau.
Yesterday: Despite strong winds the Moose Ridge, Spotted Eagle and Sheep Mountain fires experienced limited new growth. However, interior areas of unburned timber and tall grasses continued to burn with some active fire behavior. A heavy helicopter was able to drop approximately 2,000 gallons of water along the southeast perimeter of the Spotted Eagle Fire. This bucket work allowed crews to hold and strengthen fire line to the south of Swift Reservoir and along the eastern flank of the fire. There was no new activity on the Benchmark Fire.
Today: Fire managers plan to continue to use water bucket drops, as conditions allow, to extinguish hot spots near the fire line on both the Spotted Eagle and Moose Ridge fires. Crews will continue to build fire line along the southern flank of the Spotted Eagle Fire working towards the west. A red flag warning is in effect due to another day of high winds and lower humidity across the fire area. With these critical fire weather conditions, fire behavior could become more active throughout forested areas of timber and tall grasses.
Evacuations: The evacuation notice for Heart Butte has been partially lifted. Residents east of BIA Route 1 are returning to their homes. There are no other evacuations.
Community Meetings: A community meeting for the fires is scheduled for Thursday at 7PM in Choteau at the Stage Stop Inn.
Spotted Eagle Fire
Location: 25 miles W of Dupuyer, MT
Containment: 0%Total personnel: 181
Location: 24 miles W of Augusta, MT
Total personnel: 0
Closures: Area closures are effective for two large areas of the National Forest. The Badger-Two Medicine area is closed south of Benson Creek, Mt. Pablo, and Mettler Coulee, extending south through the Birch Creek drainage to the West Fk Teton and east through Walling Reef. The other closure area is in the Bob Marshall Wilderness from Lick Creek, Gates Park and Headquarters Pass, south to the W Fk Sun River and Renshaw Lake. This closure extends east to Arsenic Mountain and Allan Mountain and to the NF boundary in the Deep Creek area. Please refer to closure maps for detailed information on these closures. Trail and road closures in the Benchmark and Straight Creek area have been lifted.
Sheep Mountain Fire
Location: 34 miles SW of Choteau, MT
Containment: 0%Total personnel: 6
Moose Ridge Fire
Location: 32 miles SW of Choteau, MT
Total personnel: 6