Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex Update Aug 25
Incident: Elbow Pass Fire Complex Wildfire
FLATHEAD, HELENA, LEWIS & CLARK AND LOLO NATIONAL FORESTS
Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex
FIRE UPDATE, Friday August 25, 2012 (See Inciweb maps for locations):
Elbow Pass Complex The Elbow Pass Complex is comprised of five different lightning ignitions from July 12 through July 31. These four fires have merged into one fire, the Elbow Pass Complex: Triple Divide Fire, Rapid Creek Fire, Elbow Pass Fire, and Bar Creek Fire. The fires are generally located 25 miles west southwest of Augusta, Montana. The Falls Point fire is south of the Complex. All are located in inaccessible terrain in heavy fuels. The fires are in the Bob Marshall and Scapegoat Wilderness Areas and are on three national forests.
The Elbow Pass Complex is estimated at 19,619 acres; Acres burned: 15,994 acres on the Lewis & Clark National Forest, 3,308 acres on the Flathead National Forest, and 317 acres on the Lolo National Forest. Additionally, 205 acres has burned on the Falls Point fire on the Lolo National Forest.
The fire area is situated in a mosaic of past burns and has spread into Cigarette Rock fire (2006), Bunyan Point fire (2000), Canyon Creek fire (1988) and South Fork Burn (2003, 2011). Fire behavior changes when it spreads into these old burns due to the changing fuel conditions.
Yesterday's Activities: Strong winds prevented helicopter reconnaissance into the Elbow complex. MODIS mapping, based on high elevation imagery, showed heat and limited spread in the Green Fork area, on the northwest edge of the fire, and the southwest part of the fire. There was increased smoke seen rising from the Dry Fork of the Sun River in the early evening. The Wildland Fire Module continued clearing the trail into Green Fork cabin and removing the fire protective wrap. Falls Creek fire was observed from helicopter reconnaissance from the Wedge Fire; there is some smoke seen from the north edge.
Today's Planned Activities: Todays main activities will be to restore the batteries at Sugarloaf repeater site and aerial reconnaissance of the fire. This will provide a good assessment of fire activity from yesterdays wind event. Fire activity can increase where ground shrubs has started curing from nighttime frosts, and where the fire approaches bug killed timber. The Wildland Fire Module will continue clearing downed snags on the trail to Green Fork. All three lookouts are staffed. Fire managers will provide initial attack if requested by the Forest or adjacent Forests. http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3066/
Prisoner Lake Fire Spotted Bear Ranger District, Flathead National Forest -. Last update was 8-16-12, no further updates until conditions and/or fire behavior significantly changes. Fire history and past information is at: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3065/
Falls Point Fire Seeley Lake Ranger District, Lolo National Forest, 203 Acres -As of August 16th the Falls Point Fire has been added to the Elbow Pass Complex. Elbow Pass Complex fire information: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3067/
Wedge Creek Fire -Seeley Lake Ranger District, Lolo National Forest, 914 acres. This fire is burning in steep terrain, heavy timber and around rock outcroppings in a remote un-roaded area about two miles south of the Scapegoat Wilderness boundary. The fire is producing a smoke column visible from highway 200. The IC and the District Ranger flew over the fire yesterday and saw a large area of spotty burns and confirmed that the fire is moving directly towards the burned over area from the Conger Fire of 2007. Heavy winds blew over the fire yesterday fanning growth to an area of 914 acres. It is backing down slope on the western side of the fire. On the eastern side and northeastern side it is crowning and torching in pockets of heavy timber. The incident will use a light helicopter to GPS the perimeter today. No water or retardant drops were used yesterday. Due to heavy fuel loadings with intermittent bug-killed trees, steep slopes and inaccessible terrain it is unsafe to have crews on the ground. Actions will continue to engage the fire in a way that will not place firefighters in danger. No private structures or property are currently threatened by the fire.
Today's Plan: No direct attack is planned at this time. Actions will continue to engage the fire in a way that will not place firefighters in danger and utilize aircraft to observe and engage the fire as necessary. Weather today is expected to be sunny, with a high near 76. Light and variable wind becoming west northwest 5 to 7 mph.
Meadow Creek Fire - 8/23/12 was the final update for this fire as fire activity continues to minimize and demobilization of camp and crews has begun.
Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex - Trail Closures
As of August 24th, 2012
Elbow Pass Fire Complex - Lewis & Clark National Forest lands
The fires are generally located 25 miles west southwest of Augusta, Montana. The Falls Point fire is south of the Complex.
- South Fork Sun River Trail # 202 (The portion of the trail south of the South Fork Sun River Pack Bridge)
- Straight Creek Trail #212 (The portion of the trail north of Straight Creek Pass)
- Hoadley Creek trail #226
- Patrol Mountain Lookout Trail #213
- Ellis Creek Trail #227
- East Fork Ahorn Trail # 225 (The portion of the trail south of Grizzly Basin)
- Observation Pass Trail #246
- Elbow Pass Trail # 248
- Cigarette Rock Trail #247
- Green Fork Trail # 228
- Petty-Crown Trail #232
- Crown Mountain Trail #270
- Halfmoon Creek Trail #216
- Telephone Creek Trail #274
Wedge Creek Fire - Seeley Lake Ranger District, Lolo National Forest
Wedge Creek Fire, 13 miles north of Ovando.
Meadow Creek Fire, three miles east of Coopers Lake.
• Fenn Mountain Trail #88 the entire trail, beginning in T 16 N, R 12 W, Section 3.
• Conger Point Trail #468 the entire trail, beginning in T 17 N, R 11 W, Section 31.
• Dwight Creek Trail #414 from the junction with Conger Point Trail #468 to Omar Mountain T 17 N, R 12 W, Section 14.
• Conger Creek Trail #403 from the junction with Conger Point Trail #468 T 17 N, R12 W, Sec. 23 to the junction with Canyon Point Trail #1437 T17 N, R 11 W, Sec. 29.
Flathead National Forest Trail Closures
Trail #29, the Smith-Little Salmon Trail
Area Closures are still in effect, refer to Flathead Area Closure map.
LOLO NATIONAL FOREST
Description of Closed Areas
From the North Fork Cabin, T 17 N, R 10 W, Sec. 29, northwest along the Dry Fork trail #31, but not including the Dry Fork trail #31, to the junction with Canyon-Falls Creek trail #16; thence southwest along the Falls-Canyon Trail #16, but not including the Falls-Canyon trail #16 to the Scapegoat Wilderness boundary in T 17 N, R 11 W, Sec. 28; thence north and west along the Scapegoat Wilderness boundary through Canyon Point and Omar Mountain to the boundary with the Flathead National Forest, Spotted Bear Ranger District; thence northeast along the Forest boundary through Danaher Mountain and Concord Mountain to Triple Divide; thence southeast along the Continental Divide through Flint Mountain and Scapegoat Mountain to the junction of Cave Creek trail #1217; thence west and south along the Cave Creek trail #1217, but not including the Cave Creek trail #1217, to the junction with the Hobnail Tom trail #32; thence south along the Hobnail Tom trail #32, but not including the Hobnail Tom trail #32, southwest to the junction with the Cooney Creek trail #406; thence southeast along the Cooney Creek trail #406, and including the Cooney Creek trail #406 to the boundary with the Helena National Forest, Lincoln Ranger District; thence south and west along the Forest boundary through Olson Peak and Galusha Peak to the junction with the East Fork trail #481 in T 17 N, R 10 W, Sec. 27; thence northwest along the East Fork trail #481, and including the East Fork trail #481 to the junction with the Hobnail Tom trail #32; thence west along the Hobnail Tom trail #32 to the junction with the North Fork Cabin.