Let’s not forget about the Coal Ridge fire that’s still out there and burning…
From Inciweb… The fire continues to exhibit slow but steady progress on all perimeters as it burns along a ridge. Firefighters will continue to create fuel breaks between the fire and populated areas along the North Fork Road and the Polebridge community. The fire is expected to continue burning along the edges and backing downslope on the north side towards Hay Creek and down into the southern bowl up to Coal Ridge. There are isolated thunderstorms expected to develop to the south and east of the fire area that may cause gusty winds. The wind is expected to shift to a westerly movement that could cause an increase in fire activity this evening.
This lightning caused fire ignited on August 11 and was detected at 7:45am on August 12th. It is currently burning in the Flathead National Forest in steep terrain with subalpine forest and brushy avalanche chutes. The fire is being managed with modified confine and contain tactics. Maintaining firefighter and public safety is the main priority.
A Community Meeting is being held this evening, August 18th at 6:00pm. Fire personnel will present management plans for Whale Butte, Howe Ridge, Coal Ridge, and Paola Ridge fires at a Community Meeting at the Columbia Falls High School in the “little theater.”
An additional Community Meeting will be held on Sunday, August 19th at 6:00pm. Fire personnel will present management plans for Whale Butte, Howe Ridge, Coal Ridge, and Paola Ridge fires at the Sondreson Community Hall.
Evacuations: No evacuation warnings in place on this incident. Any warning notices or evacuations will be coordinated through the Flathead County Sheriff’s office via Flathead County Office of Emergency Services.
Road Closures: No road closures at this time.
Forest Closures: There are area closures in place in the Flathead National Forest, due to fire activity. Check the Flathead National Forest website for details: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/flathead/alerts-notices
Fire Restrictions: Flathead National Forest, except the Great Bear and the Bob Marshall Wilderness areas, have implemented Stage II Fire Restrictions. No campfires are permitted. Smoking is also prohibited except within an enclosed building, vehicle, developed recreation area, or barren area three feet in diameter. Propane stoves that have an on/off switch are permitted.
A temporary flight restriction is in effect in the fire area.
Smoke monitoring information is available at: http://svc.mt.gov/deq/todaysair/
For additional Coal Ridge and Whale Butte Fire information call: 406-578-8256