August 29, 7:00 AM Lolo Creek Complex Fire Update
Incident: Lolo Creek Complex Wildfire
Information Hotline: 406-273-6831 or 406-273-6384 August 29, 2013 – 7:00 AM
What: Wildland FireStarted: August 18, 2013Location: Approximately 8 miles west of Lolo, MTJurisdiction: Montana DNRCCooperating Agencies: US Forest Service, Montana DNRCOther Cooperating or Assisting Agencies: American Red Cross, Missoula County Sheriff’s Office, Missoula County Disaster and Emergency Services, Missoula and Ravalli County RFDs, Montana Highway Patrol, Montana National Guard, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (Canada)
Current size: 10,902 acres Containment: 70% Expected Containment: Sept. 3rdFire Resources: 882 personnel; 18 Crews; 6 helicopters; 47 engines; 4 dozers; 20 water tenders.Fire Activity: Firefighters have completed construction of fire line around the entire perimeter of the fire. Their efforts today will be to hold and improve the lines and continue mop-up. The weather forecast calls for afternoon thunderstorms and increasing winds on Friday which will test whether or not the newly constructed fire lines will hold on the north side of the fire. A contingency line between the fire line on the north and the Graves Creek jeep road has been completed to provide a backup plan in case the fire jumps the lines and moves towards the north through the heavily-forested Woodman Creek canyon. The Graves Creek jeep road already has a shaded fuel break that was constructed as a contingency line during the 2003 Black Mountain Fire.
Crews have made good progress on the south, west and east side of the fire where mop up has extinguished smoldering material up to 120 feet into the fire area from the fire line. They will work on bringing hose, pumps and water onto the north side of the fire between Camp Creek and Woodman Creek as they improve their newly constructed fire line in that area. There is still a lot of active fire within the north containment lines, and spot fires across the line are a concern.
Structure protection on the Blue Mountain Lookout will be suspended following yesterday’s high winds that drove crews off of the tower due to safety concerns. Fuel reduction work around the University of Montana observatory should be completed by noon today. The BPA 500 KV power line remains in the path of the fire, about 1.5 miles north of the fire line. Crews will begin repair of the contingency line in the Sleeman Creek area today.
National Forest campgrounds on Highway 12 between Lolo Pass and Lolo, Montana are closed to entry. An area closure of National Forest lands remains in effect around the fire area including the Blue Mountain Recreation Area. Travelers on U.S. Highway 12, which is now open, are limited to 45 mph from milepost 20 to 32, with no stopping or parking alongside the highway until further notice. Motorists should drive with their lights on, and be aware of heavy smoke in the morning until the inversion lifts each day.
Prevention Message: All federal, state, and private lands in West Central Montana are in Stage 1 fire restrictions. For further fire information, visit www.inciweb.org. Contact email@example.com to be added to the mailing list for fire updates.