The Hungry Horse Reservoir remains closed to all public access, including both the east and west side roads. As firefighting efforts continue on the Ridge Fire, the Tin Soldier Complex, and other fires in the area, the closure is in place to provide for public and firefighter safety. Click HERE for more.

The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office has issued a pre-evacuation notice from the east side of Spotted Bear Road to West Glacier

The American Red Cross has set up an emergency shelter at Columbia Falls Junior High School for residents affected by the Ridge Fire. Those who plan to use the emergency shelter are asked to call 1-800-733-2767 prior to your arrival.

Here are the latest reports on the larger fires in the state, supplied by InciWeb:


 The Ridge Fire, 6 miles southeast of Hungry Horse  is currently estimated at 3175 acres, and is 12 % contained. The lightning-caused fire continues to be fueled by timber (Litter and Understory), tall grass, and brush.

485 firefighters are on scene.

Yesterday, direct handline was extended by Hotshot crews on the southern and western edges of the fire . They made good progress despite working in dense brush and vegetation. As containment grows in those areas, mop up is being pushed 100 feet inside the fire line to prevent ignition of unburned fuels outside of the fire line.

Aerial resources worked together with crews on the ground to progress containment lines to the north and east. Aerial firefighting activity was active and robust on the east side of the fire. Four large air tankers dropped loads of fire retardant to create a line to slow the spread of the fire. Two Scooper airplanes and three helicopters worked to drop water on the fire directly. The indirect contingency line that is being constructed west of the fire north up to Halfmoon Fits Road is moving towards completion.

Today the primary focus continues to be on the north and west side of the fire. Direct attack handline work and mop up will continue in that area. Aerial resources will continue to be utilized to slow the progress of the fire in the north and east sections. Handline and bulldozers will work to the east to cut direct and indirect lines. Structure protection crews, partnering with local firefighters, will continue their task of preparing and assessing potentially threatened structures to help reduce the risk to the community.

Weather conditions continue to trend hot and dry. This will increase fire activity and will likely produce more visible smoke, mostly coming from the east portion of the fire.

The team has been in communication with the Flathead National Forest regarding the Doris fire and is prepared to support as requested. The Doris Fire is 12 acres, as of last Friday, and burning in the Doris Creek drainage of the Flathead National Forest, southwest of, and across the reservoir from the Ridge Fire.


There has been no change reported in the status of the Sidney Fire, since last Wednesday. The fire is 12 miles south of East Glacier and 16-miles west of Heart Butte, in the northwest tip of the Pondera County panhandle. An IR flight conducted on Sunday (Aug. 6) showed the fire is 49 acres in size, and burning near footprints from fires in 2007 and 2017, which is aiding firefighters, since fuels in these footprints are less dense.

The following trails remain closed due to fire activity:

  • Trail 101 from the junction of 101 and 133.
  • Trails 133, from Summit Trailhead, and Trail 133.1, from -Summit Campground, to where these 2 trails join Trail 137.
  • Trail 134 from Forest Road 8958 to the junction with Trail 137.
  • Trail 137 from the Trail 133/133.1 junction to the Trail 137/101 junction.
  • TTrail 136 which runs between Trails 101 and 137.


As of Sunday, August 13, the Rogers Pass Fire was 100% contained, at 49 acres.


The 543 firefighters assigned to the Colt Fire are holding it at 7,202 acres, and report 45% containment.

Firefighters have been improving their line on the fire’s edge in an area just north of Sunset Peak.  Crews are chipping wood along the Marshall Creek Road south of the fire perimeter. In late July, firefighters had taken measures to reduce fuels in this area as to improve firefighter access and increase the probability of controlling the fire should it have moved south of the Clearwater River.

Firefighters continue to search for areas of heat near the fire perimeter along the fire's uncontained edge. The patchy and uneven burn pattern resulted in difficult mop-up conditions, hindering the ability to confidently increase containment.

UAS infrared missions will continue in the early morning hours, although the thick canopy cover of the trees can make it harder to detect hot spots



 The Niaranda Fire, 12 miles west of Elmo, is 20,365 acres in size, and 81% contained. Nearby, the Mill Pocket Fire covers 2,135 acres, and is 89% contained.
Strategic firing operations were successful Monday as firefighters burned approximately 50 acres on the south side of the Niarada Fire to secure some of the indirect lines. These firing operations are essential to building containment in areas where crews cannot be inserted safely and are only conducted when conditions allow. Crews will hold and improve this line in the coming days.
Crews continue to assess, patrol and mop up (cool areas containing heat) around much of the remaining fire perimeter. Suppression repair work has begun in these areas, including pulling in dozer line berms and blading roads.
Structure protection crews are still working outside Elmo toward Big Arm, testing sprinkler systems and pumps while working with landowners on additional vegetation management around structures.
Much of the remaining perimeter is in mop-up and patrol status on the Mill Pocket Fire. Some heat remains in steep scree slopes on the northwestern side, where firefighters continue to cool hot spots, using helicopter water drops as needed. An excavator is helping with suppression repair, pulling in dozer lines. This equipment is also used to turn over bigger stumps to reduce the remaining heat.
Near the Niarada Fire, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office has a PRE-EVACUATION WARNING in place for the area that includes Alexander Road, Early Dawn Road, Spring Lane Road, Walking Horse Lane, Windward Heights Road, Wildhorse View, Buffalo Bridge Road, Saddle Drive, Island Butte Lane, Bridle Path, Ten Deuce Way, Cliffview Drive, and Ricketts Road. The remainder of the town of Elmo is in READY status.


The 13,000 acre Middle Ridge Fire west of Ronan is  25% contained. Crews continue to mop up and put out any hot spots along the entire fire line.


The Communication Butte Fire north of Dixon is estimated at 1,423 acres and is 35% contained. Firefighters have completed a containment line is around the fire. Mop up is underway.

The Holmes Creek Fire east of Polson is estimated at 36 acres, with no containment. The blaze is burning on top of the Mission Mountain Range in steep rocky terrain.


The Big Knife Fire, 5 miles east of Arlee, stands at 4952-acres, and 7% containment.
On Monday, fire activity increased as expected as temperatures got hotter and humidity levels lower. On the north perimeter in the Gold Creek drainage, helicopters utilized water to check the fire’s edge. Crews will continue to call on aircraft for water drops, reconnaissance flights, and sling loads as needed.
Around the southwest edge, crews are assessing the fire’s progress to see if it comes down the slopes to control lines. Crews are preparing canal roads for better egress and removing vegetation around power poles.
On the south end of the fire in the Agency Creek drainage, the Craig Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew began work to finish hazard tree mitigation and scouted opportunities to go direct. They installed pumps and hoses to tie into several prominent scree slopes and will continue working the fire’s edge, moving further up the canyon.
To the east of the fire, sprinkler systems and pumps are in place around several pieces of infrastructure and the Jocko Lookout. The lookout has been covered with a fire-resistant wrap.
Several areas near the base of the mountains west of the Big Knife Fire remain in PRE-EVACUATION status by order of the Lake County Sheriff.



An area closure remains in effect for the Hungry Horse Reservoir, the front country of the Spotted Bear district as well the Gorge Creek drainage within the Bob Marshall Wilderness area.

An evacuation order continues for Heinrude community

The Tin Soldier Complex is estimated at 2,765 acres in size and remains 0% contained. The Infra-Red flight last night found an increase of 71 acres between the three fires. Acres burned as of the morning of Tuesday, August 15th:

  •  Bruce Fire – 1017 acres at 0% containment
  • Kah Mtn Fire – 491 acres at 0% containment
  • Sullivan Fire – 1,257 acres at 0% containment
  • Con Kelly Fire – 0.25 acres – Out.

Today’s actions will include ongoing structure protection efforts for the commercial guest ranches, Spotted Bear Ranger Station compound, Heinrude residential community, and other infrastructure in the area. Crews will continue fuels reduction, slash removal, structure prep, and daily testing of the sprinkler systems and water pumps for all values at risk. Heavy equipment crews have finished the fuel break to the north, south and west side of FS Road #895 adjacent to the Heinrude community. Structure protection for Spotted Bear Lookout is complete.


This 1420-acre is located 12 miles south of Trego. There is now indirect containment line around the entire fire, including direct line and hose lay around approximately 80% of the fire. Crews continue to implement direct line and hose lay on the rest of the fire and continue with mop up operations. The fire mainly continues to burn interiorly, cleaning up unburned fuels so helicopters are being utilized to knock down hot spots and cool the edge of the fire.


This 304-acre fire is 25 miles southeast of Libby, near Silver Butte.

Crews continue with mop-up activities, locating and extinguishing sources of heat to prevent flare-ups from occurring.  Engines will move throughout the fire area to locate flare-ups and maintain readiness to respond to any new fire starts that occur. To the southeast, crews will backhaul hose and continue with mop-up activities.

Afternoon temperatures will be near record highs this week with valley locations approaching 100° F. Winds will be light from the north to northeast on the ridges. Mid and lower slopes will see light erratic winds. Fire behavior is low at the moment, with smoldering and creeping, but the potential exists for more active fire behavior with the drying weather pattern in the coming days.


Located 17 miles NE of Condon. An IAA (Incident Awareness and Assessment) flight mapped the fire at 70 acres as of Saturday morning, August 12.. The fire has run up the ridgeline to the west of the original start and has been burning northward along the ridge toward the confluence of Stadium and Gorge Creeks. The Spotted Bear Ranger District will continue to monitor the fire and implement point protection strategies to any values at risk as necessary. Firefighter safety will remain the top priority.


The Bowles Creek Fire is east of Hamilton, 27 miles southwest of Phillipsburg The lightning-caused fire is 3787 acres, and 5% contained.

Crews on the east side continue to construct a fuel break in the fire area. Chipping operations continue along FS Road 5070 south towards Sand Basin Creek. Snag removal operations continue in the Crystal Creek area. The crews on the west side continue to secure the line down to Railroad Creek, fortify the fire line and install hose lays. Winds today are expected to be light and shift from the west to coming out of the east. Temperatures are expected to reach 85 degrees today. Moderate fire activity potential may increase as continued warmer and dryer weather reduces the relative humidity levels to less than 25 percent.

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