North Fork Fires: UPDATE Sept. 21, Thursday, at 8:00AM

By | September 21, 2017

Sept. 21, Thursday, at 8:00 AM – Sprague. From the Park this morning… 16,790 acres. Yesterday, scattered showers were received over the fire area. Fire activity remains minimal with creeping and smoldering; in some areas, the fire’s edge has burned out as precipitation reaches the lighter fuels. Today, crews will test the hose lays and sprinkler systems that have been installed on trails between the Sperry Trailhead and John’s Lake area. This system will give firefighters a greater probability of success of holding the fire before it reaches the Going- to-the-Sun Road near north Lake McDonald. Read the full report here.

Sept. 21, Thursday, at 8:00 AM – Adair Peak. From the Park this morning… 4,034 acres. The Adair Peak Fire continues to see minimal fire activity though smoke will remain visible. Personnel will monitor the fire from Cyclone Lookout on the Flathead National Forest. Read the full report here.

Sept. 21, Thursday, at 8:00 AM – Elder Creek Fire. From the Park this morning…  282 acres in Glacier National Park, total of 2,547 acres (Note: this acreage does not reflect changes since 9/14). As fire activity remains minimal, aerial reconnaissance will be utilized when possible to monitor the fire. Read the full report here.

Sept. 19, Tuesday, at 10:00 AM – Summing up. The NFNews team took a ride up Whale Creek Road this morning to see how the Gibralter fire was doing. There was a sign at the intersection with the road leading up to Hornet saying that the rest of the Whale Creek Road was closed except for those with permits. We drove on up towards Hornet and saw lots of snow on the mountains, puddles in the road, fog in the valley, and a yearling grizzly. But not smoke. All the fires are quiet according to the morning DNRC Fire map.

Fire map

Sept. 19, Tuesday, at 10:00 AM –  WeaselFrom an 8AM fire briefing from the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team…  No private property or structures are threatened. Minimal fire activity occurred, with some fire backing and creeping in areas. Read the full report here.

Sept. 19, Tuesday, at 10:00 AM –  GibralterFrom an 8AM fire briefing from the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team…  Crews continue to mop-up hot spots. Fire activity in the Williams Creek and Whale Creek drainages was minimal again yesterday. Firefighters completed chipping slash along Grave Creek Road. Crews and heavy equipment will rehab fireline on the northwest side of the fire today. Read the full report here.

Sept. 19, Tuesday, at 10:00 AM – Sprague. From the Park this morning… 16,790 acres. Yesterday, a quarter inch of rain was received on the north end of the fire while the south end received approximately a half of an inch. In areas with thick canopies little of the moisture reached the forest floor and smoke was still visible from active surface fire. However, high humidities have affected lighter fuels and minimized fire activity. Crews will begin installing hose lays and sprinklers on trails between the Sperry Trailhead and John’s Lake area. Firefighters have a greater probability of success holding the fire before it reaches the Going- to-the-Sun Road due to current conditions. Efforts will continue to remove water handling equipment from higher elevations utilizing helicopters. Read the full report here.

Sept. 19, Tuesday, at 10:00 AM – Adair Peak. From the Park this morning…  4,034 acres. The Adair Peak Fire continues to see minimal fire activity. As the threat of fire movement towards the Patrol Cabins diminished, the wrap from the Upper Patrol cabin was removed and water handling equipment will be prepped for removal. Read the full report here.

Sept. 19, Tuesday, at 10:00 AM – Elder Creek Fire. From the Park this morning…  282 acres in Glacier National Park, total of 2,547 acres (note: this acreage does not reflect changes since 9/14). As fire activity remains minimal, aerial reconnaissance will be used to monitor the fire. Read the full report here.

Sept. 18, Monday, at 3:30 PM –  Gibralter and  WeaselHere’s an update from the Kootenai National Forest… With cooler weather and moisture in the forecast, minimal fire activity has been reported on the fires. Winds gusting to 30 mph on the ridgetops are expected. Smoke will be visible in the fire areas. For more smoke information please visit www.todaysair.mt.gov. Stage II Fire Restrictions remain in effect for Lincoln County and Kootenai National Forest due to extreme fire danger and the Kootenai Forest is looking at larger area closures around the fire areas. Some fires will be transitioning in the future to Type III Teams made up of local Kootenai Forest personnel. Firefighter and public safety remain the top priority. Read the full report here.

Sept. 18, Monday, at 1:30 PM – Rain. On and off all morning.

Sept. 18, Monday, at 8:00 AM – Smoke and Weather Conditions. From the Park this morning… Cooler weather arrives today and will remain throughout the week. Rain early Monday morning amounted to about 1/10th of an inch in West Glacier; the last time West Glacier received 1/10th of an inch of rain was 38 days ago. Chances of rain continue through this afternoon, with snow at elevations above 6,000 feet. Smoke will continue to be visible from these fires; other fires in Montana and British Columbia may also contribute to haziness in the area. Read the full report here.

Sept. 18, Monday, at 8:00 AM – DNRC Fire MapFor the morning shows the minimal growth from yesterday, although Gibralter continues to creep up Whale Creek Road. And the good news is that we did have a little rain in the night and perhaps more is coming. The smoke is obscuring the mountains this morning, but it’s not down here in the valley, yet.

Fire Map

Sept. 18, Monday, at 8:00 AM –  WeaselFrom an 8AM fire briefing from the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team… Minimal fire activity occurred yesterday, with some fire backing down steep ridges and some creeping in areas. No private property or structures are threatened. Today’s cold front will bring morning rain and cooler weather with temperatures in the low 50s and relative humidity in the 40s. Winds will be breezy at 25 mph winds on ridge tops, gusting to 30 mph. There is a chance of snow above 5,000 feet by Monday night and Tuesday morning. Wednesday will bring more rain to the area. Read the full report here.

Sept. 18, Monday, at 8:00 AM –  GibralterFrom an 8AM fire briefing from the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team… Fire activity in the Whale Creek drainage was minimal. Some active fire occurred on the west side of Williams Creek drainage. Firefighters continued chipping slash created from brush removal operations on Grave Creek Road along with fireline repair using heavy equipment. Crews continue to mop-up hot spots. Read the full report here.

Sept. 18, Monday, at 8:00 AM – Sprague. From the Park this morning… 16,790 acres. Yesterday, active surface fire burned through heavy pockets of fuel and continued to produce visible smoke across the fire area. Helicopters dropped buckets of water on the most active portions along the northern end of the fire to aid in slowing the fire spread. The southern end of the fire continues to hold north of Walton Creek and Lincoln Creek. Today, crews will assess trails along Going-to-the-Sun Road for opportunities to hold the fire as it continues to slowly back downslope. Efforts will continue to remove water handling equipment from higher elevations utilizing helicopters. Read the full report here.

Sept. 18, Monday, at 8:00 AM – Adair Peak. From the Park this morning… 4,034 acres. The Adair Peak Fire continues to see minimal fire activity with the majority of growth occurring on the northeast and east edges, as they burn into the old Wolf Gun fire. As the threat of fire movement towards the Patrol Cabins has diminished, the wrap from the Upper Patrol cabin will be removed and water handling equipment will be prepped for removal. Read the full report here.

Sept. 18, Monday, at 8:00 AM – Elder Creek Fire. From the Park this morning… 282 acres in Glacier National Park, total of 2,547 acres (note: this acreage does not reflect changes since 9/14). As fire activity remains minimal, aerial reconnaissance will be used to monitor the fire. Read the full report here.

Anyone watching the multiple Elder Creek Fire plumes from the Kinsolvings yesterday evening would not have believed that the fire activity was minimal, but we know of at least four overflights yesterday with at least one IR to check on the fire’s growth. So the report of minimal growth is certainly welcome!

Sept. 17, Sunday, at 4:00 PM – Weather – NOAA says that there’s still a chance for rain in the morning hours, so keep your fingers crossed. Here’s what the radar looks like right now. We’re the blue dot.

Weather

Sept. 17, Sunday, at 4:00 PM – Elder Creek FireAnyone with an unobstructed view to the north has seen the Elder Creek Fire plume. The south wind has certainly whipped it up some today. Not coming our way, though.

Elder Creek Fire

Sept. 17, Sunday, at 11:00 AM – Weather. From an 8AM fire briefing from the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team… Today’s unsettled weather will bring warm strong westerly winds at 15 mph with gust to 25 mph on ridgetops. Temperatures will be in the high 60s with increase smoke in the morning hours. Read the full report here.

Sept. 17, Sunday, at 11:00 AM –  GibralterFrom an 8AM fire briefing from the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team… Fire activity in the Whale Creek drainage was minimal, but with some active fire on the west side of Williams Creek drainage. Firefighters are continuing the work of removing fuels along Grave Creek Road, by chipping slash created from brush removal operations. Crews continue to patrol the fire area to mop-up hot spots. Read the full report here.

Sept. 17, Sunday, at 11:00 AM –  WeaselFrom an 8AM fire briefing from the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team… Yesterday, some isolated torching occurred along Tuchuck Mountain. No private property or structures are threatened. Read the full report here.

Sept. 17, Sunday, at 10:00 AM – A little movement in the fires on the DNRC Fire Map, but we have lots of smoke.

Fire Map

Sept. 17, Sunday, at 8:00 AM – Smoke and weather conditions. From the Park this morning… Today will remain warm and dry with increased winds from the southwest in the afternoon. Smoke will continue to be visible from these fires; other fires in Montana and British Columbia may also contribute to haziness in the area. Read the full report here.

Sept. 17, Sunday, at 8:00 AM – Sprague. From the Park this morning… 16,790 acres. Yesterday, active surface fire burning through heavy pockets of fuel produced visible smoke across the fire area. Similar fire activity is expected today. Crews will continue to remove water handling equipment from higher elevations. The west flank of the fire continues to slowly back downslope towards the Going-to-the-Sun Road at the rate of approximately 100 feet per day. At the closest point, the fire is approximately ¼ mile from the Going-to-the-Sun Road. The fire continues to move slow and steady along the northwest and southwest edges. The closest point of the fire’s edge to Apgar is approximately 3 ¼ miles and approximately 2 mi from Avalanche campground. Read the full report here.

Sept. 17, Sunday, at 8:00 AM – Adair Peak. From the Park this morning… 4,034 acres. The Adair Peak Fire continues to see minimal fire activity with the majority of growth occurring on the southeast edge of the fire in the old Wolf Gun fire. Structure protection around the patrol cabins is in place and staff will monitor the fire as supplies are removed from the area. Read the full report here.

Sept. 17, Sunday, at 8:00 AM – Elder Creek Fire. From the Park this morning… 282 acres in Glacier National Park, total of 2,547 acres (note: this acreage does not reflect changes since 9/14). As fire activity remains minimal, the fire will be monitored from the Thoma lookout, aerial reconnaissance and by Flathead National Forest resources. Read the full report here.

Sept. 17, Sunday, at 7:30 AM –  GibralterFrom last night… 12,725 Acres. Possible increase in fire activity and growth as a result of warming temperatures and slightly lower RHs, then minimal fire activity is expected with the forecast arrival of cooler temperatures and wetting rain on Monday. Sunday will be the warmest day before another long term cool down starts on Monday. Temperatures on Sunday will be 60 to 70 with relative humidity between 22 and 30 percent. Winds will be southwest 5 to 15 mph. Mostly cloudy skies will develop in the afternoon.

Sept. 17, Sunday, at 7:30 AM –  WeaselFrom last night… 3,925 Acres.  Moderate activity, with isolated torching, backing and creeping. No significant fire progression was observed. Same forecast as Gibralter.

Sept. 17, Sunday, at 7:30 AM – Sprague. From last night…  15,995 Acres. Expect backing and flanking downslope toward the Going-to-the-Sun Road with single tree torching. Weak high pressure will promote additional warming and drying with highs in the upper 60s to around 70 and humidity minimums of 20 to 30%. Southwest winds will increase during the afternoon with speeds of 10 to 20 mph across the higher elevations. Clouds will increase Sunday night keeping temperatures from falling below zero.

Sept. 17, Sunday, at 7:30 AM – Adair Peak.  From last night… 3,374 Acres. Active fire behavior with backing and flanking. Active fire behavior is expected with backing, flanking, and single tree torching.

Sept. 17, Sunday, at 7:30 AM – Elder Creek FireFrom last night… 282 Acres. Active fire behavior expected with backing and flanking.

Sept. 16, Saturday, at 4:30PM – Elder Creek FireWe’ve been getting reports of multiple smoke plumes in the north. We took a walk at Wurtz and took the photo below. The DNRC fire map doesn’t show anything new, there are no new reports from Kalispell Dispatch, and nothing new on InciWeb. The consensus is that these plumes are from the Elder Creek Fire, though. The good news is that the wind is out of the southwest, so should be pushing both the fire and smoke away from us. We’ll let you know if we hear more.

Elder Creek Plume | photo by NFNews

Sept. 16, Saturday, at 12:30PM –  Gibralter. From Inciweb a few hours ago…
12 hours: Continued moderating fire activity with minimal growth as a result of lower temperatures and higher RHs.
24 hours: Possible increase in fire activity and growth as a result of warming temperatures and lower RHs.
48 hours: Possible increase in fire activity and growth as a result of warming temperatures and lower RHs.
72 hours: Minimal fire activity is expected with the forecast arrival of cooler temperatures and wetting rain, including the possibility of snow showers in the higher elevations.

The way we read this is that there may be some activity today and tomorrow, but that the cool weather starting Monday should take care of it. The DNRC Fire Map shows no activity right now.

Sept. 16, Saturday, at 9:00 AM – Weasel.  From an 8AM fire briefing from the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team… Yesterday, aerial observers reported that the fire had moved very little along Tuchuck Mountain due to yesterday’s cool weather. No private property or structures are threatened. Read the full report here.

Gilbrater and Weasel Fire (East side) 09-16-2017

Sept. 16, Saturday, at 9:00 AM –  GibralterFrom an 8AM fire briefing from the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team… The fire’s movement down the Whale Creek drainage was minimal, due to yesterday’s cold, moist weather. Firefighters are continuing the work of removing fuels along Grave Creek Road, by chipping slash created from brush removal operations. Crews continue to patrol the fire area to mop-up hot spots. Read the full report here.

Sept. 16, Saturday, at 7:30 AM – Fire Map. DNRC Fire Map The confirms that there was very little movement in the fires yesterday.

Fire Map

Sept. 16, Saturday, at 7:30 AM –  GibralterFrom last night… 12,725 Acres. Moderate, isolated torching, with backing. There was minimal fire progression today. 12 hours: Continued moderating fire activity with minimal growth as a result of lower temperatures and higher RHs. 24 hours: Possible increase in fire activity and growth as a result of warming temperatures and lower RHs.

Sept. 16, Saturday, at 7:30 AM –  WeaselFrom last night… 3,925 Acres. Moderate active, with backing and creeping. There was minimal fire progression today. 12-24 hours: Continued moderating fire activity with minimal growth as a result of lower temperatures and higher RHs.

Sept. 16, Saturday, at 7:30 AM – Weather. From the Park this morning… Temperatures will increase today and Sunday, bringing slightly warmer and drier conditions. Smoke will continue to be visible from these fires; other fires in Montana and British Columbia may also contribute to haziness in the area. You can monitor current smoke and visibility conditions at: http://go.nps.gov/glacwebcams.

Sept. 16, Saturday, at 7:30 AM – Sprague. From the Park this morning… Fire activity may increase today as temperatures warm again; smoke will continue to be visible from the fire. The west flank of the fire continues to slowly back downslope towards the Going-to-the-Sun Road at the rate of approximately 100 feet a day. Growth on the southwest and northeast areas of the fire will continue as pockets of heavy fuel are ignited. Crews will begin removal of water handling equipment from higher elevations. Read the full report here.

Sept. 16, Saturday, at 7:30 AM – Adair Peak.  From the Park this morning… The Adair Peak Fire continues to see minimal fire activity. Structure protection around the patrol cabins is in place and staff will monitor the fire as supplies are removed from the area. Read the full report here.

Sept. 16, Saturday, at 7:30 AM – Elder Creek FireFrom the Park this morning… As fire activity remains minimal, the fire will be monitored from the Thoma lookout and resources from the Flathead National Forest. Read the full report here.

Sept. 15, Friday, at 10:30 AM –  WeaselFrom an 8AM fire briefing from the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team… The fire has been slowly progressing along the northwest flank of Tuchuck Mountain. Subalpine Fir stands and heavy brush are contributing to the fire spread flanking both sides of Weasel Lake. The Weasel Cabin and dock are wrapped with fire resistant material. No private property or structures are threatened. Read the full report here.

Sept. 15, Friday, at 10:30 AM –Gibralter. From an 8AM fire briefing from the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team… Slash removal from brushing operations and chipping will continue along the Grave Creek Road. Crews will remain in the area to patrol and mop-up hot spots. The fire made minimal movement down the Whale Creek drainage on the Flathead National Forest (FNF). FNF fire crews have wrapped the Ninko cabin, cleared out timber around the cabin and continue to implement structure protection operations. Read the full report here.

Sept. 15, Friday, at 8:00 AM  – Sprague. From the Park this morning.. 15,995 Acres. Cooler temperatures are expected again today which will decrease fire behavior. The west flank of the fire continues to slowly back downslope towards the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Read the full fact sheet here.

Sept. 15, Friday, at 8:00 AM – Adair Peak. From the Park this morning… 3,374 Acres. The Adair Peak Fire saw minimal activity yesterday as it continued to burn in the mixed conifer stands along Logging Lake. Structure protection around the patrol cabins is in place and this fire will be monitored as needed. Read the full fact sheet here.

Sept. 15, Friday, at 8:00 AM – Elder Creek FireFrom the Park this morning... 282 Acres. As fire activity remains minimal, the fire will be monitored from the Thoma lookout and resources from the Flathead National Forest. Read the full fact sheet here.

Sept. 15, Friday, at 7:30 AM – Fire Map. DNRC fire map. All is quiet according to the this morning, even without the hoped for rain. The cool weather and hi RH seem to have done the trick.

Fire Map

Sept. 15, Friday, at 7:30 AM –  GibralterFrom last night… 12,700 Acres. Moderate, isolated torching, with backing. There was minimal fire progression in both the Whale Creek basin and in the Williams Creek drainage. Today they are expecting moderate fire activity with minimal growth as a result of lower temperatures and higher RHs.

Sept. 15, Friday, at 7:30 AM –  WeaselFrom last night… 3,900 Acres. Yesterday  saw moderate active, with single tree torching and backing. There was minimal fire progression. 12-24 hours: Moderating fire activity with minimal growth as a result of lower temperatures and higher RHs. 48- 72 hours: Possible increase in fire activity and growth as a result of slightly warmer temperatures and lower RHs.

Sept. 15, Friday, at 7:30 AM  – Sprague. From last night… 15,995 Acres. Expect backing and flanking downslope toward the Going to the Sun Road.

Sept. 15, Friday, at 7:30 AM – Adair Peak. From last night… 3,374 Acres. Yesterday was active fire behavior with backing and flanking. Today active fire behavior is expected with backing, flanking, and single tree torching.

Sept. 15, Friday, at 7:30 AM – Elder Creek FireFrom last night… 282 Acres. Active fire behavior with backing and flanking. Today they are expecting the same.

Sept. 14, Thursday, at 2:30 PM – Park Webcam. We had a note from Paul Genovese… “Check out theGNP webcam at Logan Pass. It looks like snow on the roof to me!” By golly, he’s right.

Park Webcam

Sept. 14, Thursday, at 2:30 PM – Weasel Fire and  Gibralter Fire. Here’s a note from Allen Chrisman with some good news… I attached the current MODIS from this afternoon. I see no movement at all, and no hotspots. It does not appear that the wind last night affected either fire. I think you are in very good shape, and I’m hopeful that the fires will stay parked until we get season ending moisture. No threat today as far as I can see. It doesn’t appear that Polebridge is recording any precip yet – and it looks like the forecast has decreased to 0.7” or so. Hope you get more, but what you get will be fairly effective with the cool temperatures and higher humidity. We’ll take anything.

Sept. 14, Thursday, at 11:30 AM – The Forest Service is so confident in the milder forecast that they have told Debo she can leave Cyclone Lookout this evening. That’s certainly good news for her and us! Debo will be ready to go back as the Cyclone lookout at a moment’s notice, though. And Bill will be watching from Numa.

We really can’t thank Debo enough for all the time she has spent at Cyclone as a “volunteer” over the summer. We’ve all been much safer with her watching over us.

Sept. 14, Thursday, at 10:00 AM – Weather report. Here’s a welcomed rumor… light snow is falling at Thoma!

Sept. 14, Thursday, at 10:00 AM – Weather report from an 8AM fire briefing from the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team… Cooler temperatures, higher relative humidity and north to northeast winds are in the forecast today. Cooler air will decrease temperatures to the 50s in the mountains and relative humidity will increase to 45-65%. Winds will be 15-20 mph on the ridgetops and 5-10 mph on the slope and valley bottom. Read their full report here.

Sept. 14, Thursday, at 10:00 AM – Weasel Fire. From an 8AM fire briefing from the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team… The fire has been progressing northeast to Tuchuck Mountain. Subalpine Fir stands and heavy brush are contributing to the fire spread flanking both sides of Weasel Lake. The Weasel Cabin and dock are wrapped with fire resistant material. No private property or structures are threatened. Read their full report here.

Sept. 14, Thursday, at 10:00 AM – Gibralter Fire. From an 8AM fire briefing from the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team… The fire experienced minimal growth yesterday. Slash removal from brushing operations will occur today along Grave Creek Road. Crews will remain in the area to patrol and mop-up hot spots. The fire made minimal movement down the Whale Creek drainage yesterday on the Flathead National Forest (FNF). FNF fire crews have wrapped the Ninko cabin, cleared out timber around it and are providing structure protection. Read their full report here.

Sept. 14, Thursday, at 9:00 AM – Gibralter Fire. According to the VIIRS IBAND Fire Detection on the DNRC Fire Map, things are heating up on the Whale Creek portion of this fire. Still no rain coming our way on the radar. It’s all going south.

Gibralter fire map

Sept. 14, Thursday, at 8:00AM – More information from the Park… Smoke and Weather Conditions: Today, temperatures will be significantly cooler with chances of light rain and snow at higher elevations. Smoke from other fires in Montana and British Columbia are contributing to the haziness in the area. You can monitor current smoke and visibility conditions at: http://go.nps.gov/glacwebcams.

An evacuation ORDER remains in place from the south end of Lake McDonald north to Logan Pass. This includes the North McDonald Road. The duration of the evacuation is unknown at this time. An evacuation WARNING is in place for the Apgar area within Glacier National Park, including Apgar Village and campground as well as portions of West Glacier, please see Inciweb for details on the locations affected.

Read the Park’s full morning report here. 

Sept. 14, Thursday, at 8:00AM – Adair PeakFrom the Park… The Adair Fire saw minimal activity yesterday as it continued to burn in the mixed conifer stands along Logging Lake. Structure protection around the patrol cabins is in place and this fire will be monitored as needed. The Adair Fire is 3,374 acres.  Read the Park’s full morning report here. 

Sept. 14, Thursday, at 8:00AM – Sprague Fire. From the Park… Yesterday, fire activity and growth was to the north and southwest. The wind increase and shift in the evening did occur but did not significantly affect fire growth. Today, crews and aerial resources will continue to monitor the fire and take action as needed. Decreased temperatures and higher relative humidities will help firefighting efforts. The fire is 15,995 acres. Read the Park’s full morning report here. 

Sept. 14, Thursday, at 8:00AM – Elder Creek Fire. From the Park… The fire will be monitored from the Thoma lookout and resources from the Flathead National Forest. Yesterday, the fire activity remained minimal. The following trails are closed due to fire activity: Kishenehn Trail from the road to the Canadian border, Kishenehn Creek Trail from the Patrol Cabin to the border, and the Kintla Trail from Kishenehn Creek to Boulder Pass Trail (over Starvation Ridge). The fire is 282 acres in Glacier National Park (Total acreage is 2,547). Read the Park’s full morning report here. 

Sept. 14, Thursday, at 7:30AM – Fire Map. The DNRC Fire Map shows all quiet this morning.

Fire Map

Sept. 14, Thursday, at 7:30AM – Gibralter Fire. From last night… Active, short-range spotting, short crown runs and wind driven runs. Fire has progressed to the south and east the Whale Creek basin and to the south and west in the Williams Creek drainage. The fire continues to progress to the south and east in the Whale Creek basin and to the south and west in the Williams Creek drainage. Alignment of forecasted winds and topography may create favorable conditions for continued fire growth in the Williams Creek Drainage and Whale Creek basin. Day shift will continue to mop-up, hold and patrol. Firefighters will analyze fire growth to find appropriate suppression response and mitigate potential impacts to values at risk.

Today (Wednesday) was the start of a major cooling trend. High temperatures were only in the 60s to near 70 with relative humidity generally above 30% during the day. Light winds will turn north Wednesday evening to 15 mph as a cold front pushed in from Canada. Thursday will have much cooler temperatures with cloudy skies and high daytime humidity. There may be some very light precipitation up to a couple of hundredths of an inch. Breezy northeast winds 10-15 mph can be expected in exposed areas.

According to NOAA, the wind is going to shift in that area from the northeast to the southwest and pick up wind speed around 6PM this evening. There is no rain showing in our area on the current local radar. But NOAA is saying that rain is likely today, although in very small amounts.

Sept. 14, Thursday, at 7:30AM – Weasel Fire. From last night…  Active, short range spotting, single tree torching with wind driven runs. Short range spotting in sub-alpine fir. The fire progressed to the west (around Weasel Lake), north, and east.

Sept. 13, Wednesday, at 6:30PM – Gibralter Fire. We thought that right now might be a good time to revisit Rachel’s map of the Wedge burn area. Gibralter might burn down Whale Creek drainage, but it has some inhospitable  terrain to the north.

Wedge burn

Sept. 13, Wednesday, at 6:30PM – Gibralter Fire. Here’s the latest DNRC Fire Map. Not much happening, right? However, we’ve heard that the fire is well entrenched in upper Whale Creek in heavy timber. It has made some lateral movement down canyon on the north side of the Creek, south aspect.  Air operations may be able to check it up a bit, but they will not be able to stop it. There is certainly smoke coming down the Whale Creek drainage. We probably won’t know how far the fire got today until in the morning. In the meantime, the wind has shifted, coming out of the northeast right now.

What does that mean? Here’s a quick analysis from someone in the know… A north or northeast or east wind should not cause major problems on either the Gibralter or Weasel fires.  Weasel is more exposed and might get pushed around a bit from a north wind. Gibralter on the North Fork side will be sheltered a bit from a north wind, but that will create swirling air currents so it might be active but not in alignment.  It could help it spot over the creek and establish on the South side.  An East wind will push both fires back into themselves. So… let’s hope for an east wind. We’re all hoping that there is enough
moisture come through tomorrow that it retards the fire activity until the season ending event comes.

Gibralter fire

Sept. 13, Wednesday, at 6:30PM – Adair PeakComing from town, we could clearly see the Adair fire in the Park with a single large smoke plume and several spot fires on the mountains facing north. This northeast wind will certainly push the smoke towards the North Fork. Let’s home that it doesn’t push the fire our way.

Here’s a photo of Adair this afternoon from Debo.

Adair from Debo

Sept. 13, Wednesday, at 6:00PM – Evacuation Warning for West Glacier

Sept. 13, Wednesday, at 11:00AM – Gibralter Fire. Here’s the latest DNRC Fire Map. The orange reflects what happened in that area in the last 12-24 hours. The black in the last 24-48 hours. All that orange is good news. But what about those red spots? Those red spots come from NOAA’s HMS Fire Detection System. Get more information about the HMS Fire and Smoke Product here.

Fire Map

Sept. 13, Wednesday, at 9:20AM – Gibralter Fire. From an 8AM fire briefing from the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team… The fire continues to burn in Williams Creek. Hand crews are brushing along Grave Creek Road. Crews will remain in the area to patrol and mop-up hot spots. The fire moved two miles down the Whale Creek drainage yesterday on the Flathead National Forest (FNF). FNF fire crews wrapped the Ninko cabin and are providing structure protection. Gibralter Ridge Evacuations: A Pre-Evacuation Warning remains in effect for the Sherman Creek, Griffith Creek, Therriault Pass Road, Stevens Creek, Glen Lake and Sinclair Creek (south/east of West Road) areas. Gibralter Ridge Closures: Grave Creek Road and the Ten Lakes Recreation area are closed above the Grave Creek/Foothills Road junction. Closure Orders and maps under the “Closures” tab on Inciweb. Read the full report here.

Sept. 13, Wednesday, at 9:20AM – Weasel Fire. From an 8AM fire briefing from the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team… The fire is actively burning through thick Subalpine fir and is spreading northeast to Tuchuck Mountain. Timber and heavy brush are contributing to the fire spread flanking both sides of Weasel Lake. The Weasel Cabin and dock are wrapped with fire resistant material. No private property or structures are threatened. Read the full report here.

Sept. 13, Wednesday, at 9:00AM – Adair PeakFrom the Park… The Adair Fire continued to burn in the mixed conifer stands along Logging Lake. Structure protection around the patrol cabins will continue as pumps and hose lays are maintained. The Adair Fire is 2,890 acres. Read the full report here.

Sept. 13, Wednesday, at 9:00AM – Elder Creek Fire. From the Park… The fire will be monitored from the Tahoma lookout. The fire continued to show little movement yesterday as the prevailing winds blew the fire back into itself. The following trails are closed due to fire activity: Kishenehn Trail from the road to the Canadian border, Kishenehn Creek Trail from the Patrol Cabin to the border, and the Kintla Trail from Kishenehn Creek to Boulder Pass Trail (over Starvation Ridge). The fire is 282 acres in Glacier National Park (2,261 acres in total). Read the full report here.

Sept. 13, Wednesday, at 9:00AM – Sprague FireFrom the Park… Yesterday, fire activity was light as it continued to flank to the north on Mt. Brown and make its way down towards Lake McDonald. Three water dropping helicopters kept hot spots in check on Mt. Brown near the lookout as well as on Snyder Ridge. Today, aircraft will be utilized along the southwestern flank of the fire to decrease intensity and limit fire spread ahead the anticipated wind event. Expect to see increased fire activity after 6pm as the weather changes and winds shift. The duration of this event should last until midnight. The fire is 14,795 acres. Read the full report here.

Sept. 13, Wednesday, at 7:00AM – MODIS Map – Gibralter and Weasel are significantly calmer this morning according to the MODIS. Long may it last.

Fire Map

Here’s the DNRC Map for the morning.

Fire Map

Are you wondering what MODIS is? We were. And here’s what we found out. High temporal image data collected by the NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) are currently the primary remote sensing data source of the Active Fire Mapping Program. MODIS provides multiple daily observations of the United States and Canada, which is ideal for continuous operational monitoring and characterization of wildland fire activity. To minimize product latency and deliver fire geospatial products as quickly as possible to the user community, the program leverages state of the art technologies to acquire image data directly from orbiting spacecraft. The program leverages these technologies and partnerships with other collectors of MODIS satellite data to facilitate near real-time data coverage for the entire United States and Canada. For more information, see this writeup from the Remote Sensing Applications Center on the USDA Forest Service page.

The DNRC map includes both MODIS and VIIRS IBAND Fire Detection. What’s the difference? See this website.

Sept. 13, Wednesday, at 7:00AM – GibralterFrom this morning… 9,716 Acres. Active, short-range spotting, short crown runs and wind driven runs. Fire has progressed to the south and east the Whale Creek basin and to the south and west in the Williams Creek drainage. Fire behavior may moderate with forecasted lower temperatures and higher RHs. Day shift will continue to mop-up, hold and patrol. Firefighters will analyze fire growth to find appropriate suppression response and mitigate potential impacts to values at risk.

Sept. 13, Wednesday, at 7:00AM – WeaselFrom this morning… 869 Acres. Active, short range spotting, single tree torching with wind driven runs. Short range spotting in sub-alpine fir. Growth occurred to the west, north, and east.

Sept. 13, Wednesday, at 7:00AM – Sprague. From last night… Moderate fire behavior is expected with single and group tree torching and spotting in the Walton Creek area. The fire will continue to roll out and flank to the north on Mt. Brown.

Sept. 12, Tuesday, at 5:00PM – Gibralter Fire and Weasel fireGibraltar is burning on the southeast face of Mt. Locke on the Whitefish Divide. The Forest Service and everyone else are pretty confident that the rains will come before it is a threat to structures. They have spotters at the end of Whale Creek Road watching for any advancement. Finally, an eagle eyed neighbor saw a bulldozer going up the Whale Creek Road, perhaps to do some work at Ninko.

We’re going to HRB for ribs. We’ll report any changes when we get back later tonight.

The DNRC fire map looks promising this afternoon.

Gilbrater fire map

Debo’s latest photo of the Gibralter Fire.

Gilbrater smoke plume

Sept. 12, Tuesday, at 3:30PM – Weather. NOAA’s hour-by-hour is promising rain tomorrow.

NOAA weather

Sept. 12, Tuesday, at 3:30PM – Gibralter Fire and Weasel fireLincoln Chute, the Fire Service Area Manager for the Flathead County Office of Emergency Services, sent a reassuring note that said… Gibralter is into the head of Whale Creek moving slowly to the east. The fire looks to be 8 to 10 miles from any homes at this time, here at the county and the USFS are monitoring and flying the fire to keep an eye on it. USFS are working around some bridges and Ninko Cabin as a precaution.

Weasel looks to be moving north.

The best thing that homeowners can do would be to: Post address at end of driveway, clean up around your home – rake under decks, don’t have fire wood stacked under deck or next to home, trip brush and trees, look for places that a ember can land and start a fire.

Thank you, Lincoln, for the information and good advice.

Gibralter in Whale Creek

From Debo… Gibraltar plume starting to show itself.  I think this is from the main body of the Fire west of the Whitefish Divide.

Gibralter plume

Sept. 12, Tuesday, at 12:30PM – Smoke. The smoke is settling in again. That means no wind which is a good thing, of course. You can see that the fires aren’t making near as much progress so far today as they had  yesterday. Here’s the DNRC Fire Map.

Fire map

Sept. 12, Tuesday, at 11:00AM – Weasel fireFrom an 8AM fire briefing from the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team…The fire is burning northeast through thick Subalpine fir toward Tuchuck Mountain. No private property or structures are threatened; Forest Service Weasel Cabin and dock are wrapped with fire resistant material. Read the full Fire Update 9.12.17.

PIO_archC_port_20170912_0448_GibralterRidge_MTKNF000161

Sept. 12, Tuesday, at 11:00AM – Gibralter Fire. From an 8AM fire briefing from the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team… The fire continues to burn in Williams Creek and has moved up and over Locke Mountain and into the head of Whale Creek on the Flathead National Forest. Hand crews are building fireline between the mouth of Williams Creek and Grave Creek Rd as well as continuing to improve Grave Creek Road. Crews will remain in the area to patrol and mop up hot spots. Read the full Fire Update 9.12.17.

Sept. 12, Tuesday, at 11:00AM – Kenow fire in Canada. Allen Chrisman says that the Kenow Fire in Waterton made a huge run overnight of some 14 miles!

Here’s a photo from Debo of the Kenow fire at 10:30Kenow Fire at 10:30AM on Sept. 12 | photo by Debo Powers

Sept. 12, Tuesday, at 9:30AM – Adair Ridge fireThis is a photo of the Adair Ridge fire that Debo took from the junction of the North Fork Road and Hay Creek Road yesterday afternoon.

Adair fire from the North Fork road

Sept. 12, Tuesday, at 9:30AM – Kenow fire in Canada. We’re amazed at the size of the active Kenow burning in this DNRC map. Check out all the active burning in red to the east of where the fire started. Expect to see some major smoke from Canada today. From this map it looks as if over half of Waterton is burning. You can get more information from the Elder Creek Fire Inciweb.

Kenow in Canada

Sept. 12, Tuesday, at 9:30AM – Gibralter Fire. Word has it that smoke is hanging in the drainages with an inversion in the valley. The inversion is good because it indicates that the fire is laid down and not real active. Long may it last.

Sept. 12, Tuesday, at 8:00AM – Adair Ridge fireFrom the Park this morning… Yesterday, the Adair Fire saw active burning in the mixed conifer stands along Logging Lake. Today, expect moderate fire behavior with torching and crown runs near Logging Lake. The Adair Fire is 2,890 acres. Read the full park report here.

Sept. 12, Tuesday, at 8:00AM – Elder Creek FireFrom the Park this morning… The fire has showed little movement over the last couple of days as the prevailing winds blew the fire back into itself. Some interior torching may be observed today. Firefighters continue to monitor fire activity in the area. The following trails are closed due to fire activity: Kishenehn Trail from the road to the Canadian border, Kishenehn Creek Trail from the Patrol Cabin to the border, and the Kintla Trail from Kishenehn Creek to Boulder Pass Trail (over Starvation Ridge). The fire is 282 acres in Glacier National Park (2,545 acres in total). Read the full park report here.

Sept. 12, Tuesday, at 8:00AM – Sprague fire. From the Park this morning… Yesterday, the fire continued to flank to the North on Mt. Brown. Three water dropping helicopters kept hot spots in check on Mt. Brown near the lookout as well as on Snyder Ridge. Today, fire activity should be similar to yesterday. Walton Creek drainage may see some increased activity due to the slope alignment and westerly winds. The fire is 14,750 acres. Read the full park report here.

Sept. 12, Tuesday, at 6:30AM – Our morning fire map from DNRC. Gibralter and Weasel are the #1 and #2 concerns.

Fire map

Sept. 12, Tuesday, at 6:30AM – Gibralter Fire. From yesterday evening…  8,932 Acres. The most discouraging bit of information on the InciWeb sheet says…  Tuesday October 31st, 2017 approx. 12:00 AM. Active, short-range spotting, short crown runs and wind driven runs. Fire has been established in the Whale Creek drainage. Alignment of forecasted winds and topography may create favorable conditions for continued fire growth in the Whale Creek drainage. Allen Chrisman said yesterday evening… Gibralter will continue to move tomorrow during the afternoon under the Red Flag conditions. The wind direction is looking to be SSW, so it should not align well with the drainage. I’m hoping that means it won’t make a major push down drainage.

A North Fork neighbor wrote in this morning making a good point… Ultimately the Gibralter Fire in the Whale Creek drainage will be a good thing for the NF in that it will provide fire protection for a generation. Also renewed ungulate habitat. So, look at it as a good thing.

Sept. 12, Tuesday, at 6:30AM – Weasel. 869 Acres. The Weasel Fire, located 17 miles northeast of Eureka, MT, is now estimated at 869 acres and no report of containment. The fire is actively burning in thick Subalpine Fir near Tuchuck Mountain. Weasel Cabin and dock were wrapped for fire protection. Allen Chrisman said yesterday evening… Weasel was active today, but did not make much of a move to the East. I’m hoping it is in light fuels along the ridgetop and they are able to use helicopter water drops effectively to check it up.

Sept. 12, Tuesday, at 6:30AM – Adair Ridge fireFrom yesterday evening… 2,332 Acres. Moderate fire behavior with backing, group torching and spotting. Moderate fire behavior is expected with smoldering and isolated torching on Wolf Gun peak and in the 2003 Wolf Gun burn. Backing and isolated torching is expected in the mixed conifer along the Logging Lake side of the fire.Continue to run pumps for the structure protection around the Upper Logging Lake Patrol Cabin, as needed, and monitor fire.

Sept. 12, Tuesday, at 6:30AM – Sprague fire. From yesterday evening… 14,432 Acres. Active fire behavior with single and group tree torching on the west and south edges of the fire. There is some spotting and rollout on Mt. Brown above the Going-to-the-Sun Road. There is also some spotting on the Snyder Ridge, lower Lincoln Creek, and Walton Creeks areas.  Moderate fire behavior is expected with single and group tree torching and spotting in the Walton Creek area. The fire will continue to roll out and flank to the north on Mt. Brown.

Sept. 12, Tuesday, at 6:30AM – Elder Creek FireFrom yesterday evening… 211 Acres. Moderate activity with backing, flanking, and torching.  Moderate fire behavior expected with smoldering and isolated torching along Kishenehn Creek and the Canadian border.

Sept. 12, Tuesday, at 6:30AM – Weather Concerns. NOAA has issued another Red Flag Warning today from noon to midnight. Breezy westerly winds and low humidity will combine to create Red Flag conditions this afternoon and evening. Winds and humidities will be slow to improve, thus critical fire conditions are expected well into the evening. Winds: West-southwest 15 to 25 mph, gusting to 35 mph mainly for midslopes and ridgetops. Minimum Humidities: 10 to 20 percent. Read the full warning here. The Park says… The high pressure will provide another warm, dry, breezy day on to the area. Clouds and humidity will begin to increase on Wednesday, ahead o a rain event that promises to bring widespread precipitation to the area Thursday and Friday.

Sept. 12, Tuesday, at 6:30AM – Another photo from Huckleberry yesterday evening. Adair Ridge fire in the Park in the foreground and Kenow in Canada in the back.

Adair in the foreground and Kenow in the back

Sept. 11, Monday, at 7:15PM – Weasel Fire. Just checked the DNRC map for Weasel and it really got going today.Fire map

Weasel Fire

Sept. 11, Monday, at 7:15PM – Gibralter Fire. Your intrepid NFNews team took a drive to the end of Whale Creek road to see what we could see. There was plenty of smoke, but no ash and certainly no flames. We did run into a couple of forest service vehicles, but they didn’t stop and we didn’t see them parked on the way out. There was no evidence that they were going to close the road. We’ve heard a rumor that they’ve set up a camp at the gravel pit, but if it was there we didn’t see it.

The DNRC fire map for this area hasn’t changed much in the last couple of hours. See below. Here are a couple of photos taken around mile marker 4 1/2.  We’ll have to wait and see what tomorrow brings.

Whale Creek Road | photo by NFNewsWhale Creek Road | photo by NFNews

Sept. 11, Monday, at 5:00PM – Weasel updated on InciWeb 5 hours ago. Fire managers were able to view the fire yesterday and will continue evaluating staffing needs. The fire is burning northeast through thick Subalpine fir toward Tuchuck Mountain. No private property or structures are threatened; Forest Service Weasel Cabin and dock had been wrapped ahead of yesterday’s fire spread.

Here’s the DNRC fire map at 5PM showing both Gibralter and Weasel.

Gibralter and Weasel

Sept. 11, Monday, at 3:00PM – Various fire news. All of the fires are heating up this afternoon, but there’s very little new to report. We’ve been told that smoke can be seen coming down the Whale Creek drainage from the Gibralter fire, but that there is still no need for worry.

Here’s a photo of the Adair fire from Bill Fordyce at the Numa Lookout in the Park.

Adair Fire | photo by Bill Fordyce

And here’s a photo of that same fire from someone up on the Huckleberry trail in the Park. Note the Kenow Column in the background.

Adair Fire

Sept. 11, Monday, at 11:45AM – Gilbrater Ridge Fire and Weasel. We just got the following from Allen Chrisman… It looks like both Weasel and Gibralter may have crossed the Divide yesterday.  Here is Weasel from this mornings map posted on Inciweb:

Weasel Fire

And here is Gibralter from MODIS:

Gibralter Fire

It is going to be an active day.  I’m hoping air operations can help hold the fires on the east side of the divide in place until the moisture comes in later in the week, and I hope that the moisture that does come in is very significant.

Sept. 11, Monday, at 11:45AM – Weather this week. We were taking a look at NOAA’s hourly weather for the next two days and it’s promising, with just a slight chance of lightning on Wednesday morning.

Hourly Weather

Sept. 11, Monday, at 10:30AM – Gilbrater Ridge Fire. VIIRS IBAND Fire Detection on the DNRC Fire Map shows that this fire continues to head east up the Whale Creek Drainage. We’ve not heard any word from anyone on the details, though.

Sept. 11, Monday, at 9:00AM – Smoke and Weather Conditions: From the Park… Sunday saw good mixing of the air which improved visibility in Glacier National Park. Today, light west winds will result in less mixing of the air which could increase smoke in some areas. Forecast models continue to show a weather pattern change towards wetter and cooler conditions by Thursday. You can monitor current smoke and visibility conditions on the park’s webcams at http://go.nps.gov/glacwebcams. Read the full Park report here.

Sept. 11, Monday, at 9:00AM – Adair Ridge fire. (18 miles north/northwest of West Glacier): From the Park… Yesterday, the Adair fire saw active fire behavior with crown runs and group torching on the northwest slope of Wolf Gun Mountain. Today, expect moderate fire behavior with smoldering and isolated torching in the 2003 Wolf Gun fire and Wolf Gun Peak area. The Adair Fire is 2,293 acres. Read the full Park report here.

Sept. 11, Monday, at 9:00AM – Elder Creek Fire. (40 miles north of West Glacier on the US/Canada Border): From the Park… The fire showed little movement yesterday. There is a potential today for some short duration, high energy runs. The following trails are closed due to fire activity: Kishenehn Trail from the road to the Canadian border, Kishenehn Creek Trail from the Patrol Cabin to the border, and the Kintla Trail from Kishenehn Creek to Boulder Pass Trail (over Starvation Ridge). The fire is 211 acres in Glacier National Park (2,293 acres in total). Read the full Park report here.

Sept. 11, Monday, at 9:00AM – Sprague fire (5 miles northeast of West Glacier): From the Park… Yesterday, winds out of the west-southwest were largely favorable for firefighting efforts. Two Canadian CL 415 airplanes, also known as “super scoopers” dropped water from Lake McDonald on areas of the Sprague Fire. The two “scoopers” made 140 drops for a total of 250,000 gallons and made good progress on reducing fire intensity on the western edge of the fire. Today, favorable west winds will result in a slow backing fire along Snyder Ridge and Mt. Brown. Walton Creek drainage may see some increased activity due to the slope alignment and westerly winds. Fuels reduction work will continue in the North McDonald Road area. The fire is 14,432 acres. Read the full Park report here.

Sept. 11, Monday, at 6:45AM – When we got home last evening from the NFLA meeting we kept hearing planes going over. We don’t have any word on what that was about. Nothing new on the Kalispell Interagency Dispatch Center website, so hopefully just keeping an eye on our existing fires! If anyone has any information on this, please let us know.

Sept. 11, Monday, at 6:45AM – Gilbrater Ridge FireThis report is actually from last night… Active fire behavior with some short range spotting, short crown runs, as well as wind driven runs. Lack of smoke and high winds have aided in active fire growth today in the Williams Creek drainage. The fire increased in size to approximately 8,000 acres. Within the last 12 hours the Gibralter Ridge Fire has crossed Williams Creek and has become established on the north east slopes of Krag Peak. This is the fire to watch today.

The DNRC Fire Map is showing it having crossed the divide and into the Whale Creek drainage. We’ll have to see what happens today.

Sprague Fire

Sept. 11, Monday, at 6:45AM – Weasel fireIs looking less fierce this morning with most of the active fire going north. Nothing new to report, though.

Weasel Fire

Weasel Fire on Sept. 10 from on top of Mt. Thompson-Seton| hoto from Kevin Halsey

Sept. 11, Monday, at 6:45AM – Sprague fire.  This report is actually from last night… Moderate fire behavior with single and group tree torching on the west and south edges of the fire. There is some spotting and rollout on Mt. Brown above the Going-to-the-Sun Road. There is also some spotting on the Snyder Ridge, lower Lincoln Creek, and Walton Creeks areas. Moderate fire behavior is expected with single and group tree torching and spotting in the Walton Creek area. The fire will continue to roll out and flank to the north on Mt. Brown.

From InciWeb

Sept. 11, Monday, at 6:45AM – Elder Creek FireThis report is actually from last night… Moderate fire behavior expected with smoldering and isolated torching along Kishenehn Creek and the Canadian border. We also heard that the Park was sending fire fighters and equipment up to the border via the North Fork road every day to check on it.

Sept. 11, Monday, at 6:45AM – Adair Ridge fireThis report is actually from last night… The fire is active making crown runs on the northwest slope of Wolf Gun Peak with group torching and spotting. Moderate fire behavior is expected with smoldering and isolated torching on Wolf Gun peak and in the 2003 Wolf Gun burn. Backing and isolated torching is expected in the mixed conifer along the Logging Lake side of the fire.

It looks to us from the DNRC fire map as if Adair made a run to the west.

Adair Fire

Sept. 11, Monday, at 6:45AM – Weather Concerns. NOAA has issued a Red Flag Warning today from noon to midnight. A dry airmass moving in today combined with the gusty winds will create critical fire conditions across midslopes and ridgetops. The strongest winds will mainly be north of the Highway 2 corridor. Winds and humidities will be slow to improve, thus critical fire conditions are expected well into the evening. Read the full alert here. West-southwest 10-20 mph, gusting to 30 mph across midslopes and ridgetops. Locally stronger gusts near the Continental Divide. High pressure will build across the Northern Rockies Monday and Tuesday promoting a warming and drying trend. No rain is forecast through Tuesday. West winds will diminish overnight with mostly clear skies and cool temperatures. the west winds will kick-up Monday afternoon with warmer temperatures.

Sept. 10, Sunday, at 9:30PM – One more look at the map before we go to bed. All of the fires look like they had a run today. We heard at the NFLA meeting tonight from Larry that the Park is sending fire engines and folks up to the Elder Creek fire via the North Fork Road every morning. So there are at least fire fighters keeping an eye on the fire on this side of the border. There was no new news about Weasel except that it had come over the divide. North Fork neighbors in town reported that they could see the Sprague fire from Kalispell. Some good news is that the smoke hasn’t come back into the valley. Goodnight.

Fire Map

Sept. 10, Sunday, at 4:30PM – The Kenow fire in Canada has blown up and folks on the North Fork are reporting seeing a plume. It’s going NE, though, and not coming our way.

Kenow plume

Kenow plume from the NF

Sept. 10, Sunday, at 2:00PM – Weasel fire. Here’s the latest DNRC fire map for Weasel.

Weasel Fire Map

Sept. 10, Sunday, at 2:00PM – Weasel fireBecky B. found this on InciWeb as a part of the Gibralter fire… Currently 316 acres. Management of the Weasel Fire was assumed by Pearson’s Type 2 IMT at 6:00 PM, September 9, 2017. Fire Management will evaluate and develop a plan for the fire today. Currently, no private property or structures are threatened.

Sept. 10, Sunday, at 1:45PM – Trail Closures. Janette Turk, Public Affairs Officer for the Flathead National Forest, sent a notice that begins… The Gibralter Ridge Fire and the Weasel fire are burning in the Kootenai National Forest approximately 7 miles east of Eureka. The east side of the Gibralter fire has moved into the mouth of the Blue Sky drainage in the Whitefish Range. The Weasel fire has moved near the Flathead and Kootenai forest boundary. To protect health and public safety by keeping the public out of the active fire area, the Kootenai National Forest has closed a large area from the Whitefish divide to the west boundary of the Fortine District, and from the Canadian Border to Deep Creek. The Flathead National Forest has closed an area north of Link lake trailhead north to the Canada border and east of the Kootenai border. Read the full announcement here.

Sept. 10, Sunday, at 1:45PM – Weasel fire. Well, despite the best predictions, it appears that Weasel is making a dash for it.

  • Here’s a note from Toby Thompson, Assistant Fire Management Officer, Fuels, for the Forest Service, courtesy of Allen Chrisman … Weasel is making a run to the NE currently. It is catching some wind which is helping it along. Running towards Tuchuck mountain parallel to Kootenai/Flathead boundary.
  • Allen says… Weasel certainly has a lot of potential to crest the divide and make a big run down drainage to the East in that continuous fuel north of Trail Creek.
  • Lincoln Chute , the Fire Service Area Manager for the Flathead County Office of Emergency Services, wrote a note saying… Weasel Fire has not moved over into Flathead County yet I think today it might today but still along ways down to the North Fork and it is late in the season, I don’t see it making it that far but we will keep an eye on it. The fire by Moose City will have an Eng. and a division qualified firefighter at Moose City.

Sept. 10, Sunday, at 10:00AM – Adair Ridge fireFrom Glacier National Park… 18 miles north/northwest of West Glacier. Yesterday, the Adair fire also saw increased west-southwest winds increasing activity in the basin leading up to Wolf Gun Mountain. Firefighters ran the sprinkler system at the upper Patrol Cabin on Logging Lake. Today, fire behavior will remain moderate as the fire enters surrounding old fire scars. The Adair Fire is 1,918 acres. Read the full report here.

Sept. 10, Sunday, at 10:00AM – Sprague fireFrom Glacier National Park… 5 miles northeast of West Glacier. Yesterday, the cold front brought higher winds from the west-southwest and the possibility of increased fire activity. However, increased humidity and cloud cover moderated fire behavior. Improved visibility allowed four water dropping helicopters to work hots spots along Snyder Ridge and Mt. Brown. Today, we can expect a similar day to yesterday, winds out of the west-southwest which are largely favorable. Fire behavior is expected to be moderate. The fire is 13,674 acres. Read the full report here.

Sept. 10, Sunday, at 10:00AM – Elder Creek FireFrom Glacier National Park… 40 miles north of West Glacier on the US/Canada Border. The fire showed no activity yesterday as the cloud cover and higher humidity slowed fire behavior. The following trails are closed due to the fire: Kishenehn Trail from the road to the Canadian border, Kishenehn Creek Trail from the Patrol Cabin to the border, and the Kintla Trail from Kishenehn Creek to Boulder Pass Trail (over Starvation Ridge). The fire is 170 acres in Glacier National Park (2108 acres in total). Read the full report here.

Sept. 10, Sunday, at 7:30AM – To sum up for the morning, although we had a significant smoke plume from Gibralter yesterday afternoon, despite the strong winds none of the fires surrounding the North Fork are currently threatening the North Fork. Here’s the DNRC fire map for the morning…

Fire Map

Sept. 10, Sunday, at 7:30AM – Elder Creek FireThis report is actually from last night… Active fire behavior expected. Forecast winds align to move fire up valley toward Kishenehn Creek and the Canadian border. Expect fire movement with surface spread, torching, crown runs, and spotting. This fire started in Canada. Canadian loggers have been using dozers to contain the fire unsuccessfully on the Canadian side. Over 1800 acres on the Canadian side. No direct suppression has been taken on the US side within Glacier National Park due to heavy fuels and lower priority. Currently monitoring the fire. Structure protection is in place. Local engines are available to respond if needed. Coordination with British Columbia Forester.

Sept. 10, Sunday, at 7:30AM – Adair Ridge fireThis report is actually from last night…  The fire is making crown runs on the northwest slope of Wolf Gun Peak. Running, group torching, and spotting. Active fire behavior expected. forecast winds align to move fire up valley toward the upper Logging Lake patrol cabin and continued burn out on Wolf Gun Peak. Expect runs on Wolf Gun Peak with group torching, crown runs, and spotting.

Sept. 10, Sunday, at 7:30AM – Sprague fireThis report is actually from last night… Group torching and spotting on Mt. Brown above the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Running, torching, group torching, short crown runs and short range spotting on Snyder Ridge, lower Lincoln Creek, and Walton Creek. Assess and check fire spread on the Lake McDonald side of Mt. Brown and Snyder Ridge. Maintain structure protection in the Lake McDonald Lodge area. Continue structure protection and fuels mitigation at the north end of Lake McDonald Rd for the Lake McDonald Ranger Station and Wheeler historic cabins. Maintain structure protection at Avalanche Creek Campground and boardwalk. Utilize air resources from Mt. Brown Lookout south to Snyder Ridge and north toward Avalanche Campground as needed. Continue mop up and patrol in the Sperry Chalet complex area. Planning for fuels mitigation work around Apgar and park headquarters. Continue structure assessments for Apgar area and for NPS structures along the Middle Fork of the Flathead River.

Sept. 10, Sunday, at 7:30AM – Gilbrater Ridge FireThis report is actually from last night… The Gibralter Ridge Fire has crossed Williams Creek and has become established on the north east slopes of Krag Peak. Active fire behavior with some short range spotting, short crown runs, as well as wind driven runs. Lack of smoke and high winds have aided in active fire growth today in the Williams Creek drainage. The fire increased in size to approximately 8,000 acres.  62 assigned resource to this fire were moved to aid in fire suppression efforts on the Caribou Fire, leaving 17 resources actually out on the Gilbralter Ridge Fire patrolling, holding, and mopping up.

Sept. 10, Sunday, at 7:30AM – The Flathead National Forest has a message for the North Fork in the Flathead OES … Three fires, the Elder and Adair in Glacier National Park, and the Gibraltar Fire on the Kootenai National Forest all have potential to impact the North Fork of the Flathead National Forest. At this time the only Evacuation WARNINGS that have been issued is to the Moose City area, there are no planned evacuations in the North Fork Flathead area. Forest fire fighting resources are supporting the fires listed above and are prepared with initial attack resources as needed. The forest will share updated fire information if significant fire activity occurs.

Sept. 9, Saturday, at 5:00PM – Gilbrater Ridge FireIt’s been confirmed that the smoke we’re seeing is from Gilbrater. Lynn just got word from the Forest Service that Gibraltar is running “a little” and that is the smoke we are seeing. Running to the northeast. The radar shows a series of storms on the way from the West (if they don’t dissipate on the other side of the divide).

Sept. 9, Saturday, at 3:45PM – Gilbrater Ridge Fire. We’re getting word that Gibraltar is growing. Still no cause of alarm, apparently, because even though the winds are high, the temperature is low and the RH is still high. And it’s is still several miles from the divide.

Sept. 9, Saturday, at 3:45PM – Becky B. from Trail Creek writes… I thought I heard a helicopter about 30 minutes ago.  We have a big smoke plume coming over Cleft from the southwest and less so (but still there) to the west.  Wonder if that’s Gibralter.

Smoke plume seen from Trail Creek | photo by Becky Braunig

Sept. 9, Saturday, at 3:00PM – Weasel fire. This afternoon we wrote to Lincoln Chute, the Fire Service Area Manager for the Flathead County Office of Emergency Services, asking about the Weasel fire. He wrote right back and said… “The fire is on the west side of the whitefish divide at this late season I don’t think it has the time to build enough energy to make it the east to affect the North fork.” That’s good news indeed.

Sept. 9, Saturday, at 2:30PM – Quick report. The smoke has cleared out. The wind has picked up. There’s a storm approaching in a couple of hours, but might dissipate before it gets here. There is lots of aircraft up right now. The Weasel fire is estimated at over 100 acres last night. No word on the spread of any of the other fires yet this afternoon.

Sept. 9, Saturday, at 10:15AM – From Glacier National Park… Saturday afternoon and Sunday should bring improved air quality and visibility to Glacier National Park. The approaching cold front and westerly winds should disperse some of the thick smoke currently in the area and enable aircraft operations. You can monitor current conditions on the Park’s webcams at http://go.nps.gov/glacwebcamsRead their full report here.

Sept. 9, Saturday, at 10:15AM – Sprague fireFrom Glacier National Park… Thick smoke persists over the fire area. A cold front is moving in from the west coast and should arrive this afternoon. A Red Flag Warning is in effect this afternoon through tonight. Winds will increase which may alleviate some of the heavy smoke. The Sprague Fire is now estimated at 13,674 acres. With the dry fuel conditions and warm temperatures, the fires are likely to come back to life. However, the shape of all three fires is favorable given the predicted wind direction. Fire managers expect the most growth on the fires to be to the north and east. Read their full report here.

Sept. 9, Saturday, at 10:15AM – Adair Ridge fire in the Park. From Glacier National Park… The fire grew 164 acres and is now estimated at 1918 acres. Yesterday, the fire moved into the basin towards Wolf Gun Mountain. The Glacier National Park pack string delivered protective fire wrap needed to complete structure protection on the Lower Patrol Cabin. Fire managers expect the fire behavior to remain moderate as this fire enters surrounding old fire scars. Read their full report here.

Sept. 9, Saturday, at 10:15AM – Elder Creek FireFrom Glacier National Park… Hutton’s Wildland Fire Management Team assumed command of the Elder Creek Fire at 6:00 am today. This fire started in Canada and has grown to 170 acres in Glacier National Park (2108 acres in total). The predicted winds should hinder fire growth in the Park and are expected to push the fire back into itself. An engine crew is assigned to the fire. The following trails are closed because of this fire: Kishenehn Trail from the Road to the Canadian border, Kishenehn Creek Trail from the Patrol Cabin to the border, and the Kintla Trail from Kishenehn Creek to Boulder Pass Trail (over Starvation Ridge). Read their full report here.

Sept. 9, Saturday, at 7:30AM – Finally some good news. Paul Genovese sent in information from the National Weather Service that says… The models are still on track for a significant weather system moving through the Northern Rockies Wednesday night through at least Friday. This system will bring widespread precipitation to the region, which will help out the fires. Snow levels will be lowering to 6500-8000 feet by Friday night, but the best chance for snow will be along the Continental Divide. Temperatures for Friday appear to be around 10 degrees below normal. Read the full discussion here.

Sept. 9, Saturday, at 7:30AM – We have less smoke this morning, which is good news. The DNRC map shows little new activity this morning, although we’re still wondering about Weasel. Red Flag Warning from 2PM to 9PM today.

Fire Map

Sept. 9, Saturday, at 7:30AM – Elder Creek FireThe Elder Creek Fire on the border is now on InciWeb! The report this morning said… 190 acres (although only a portion of this is on the US side of the border). Moderate fire behavior with backing and single tree torching. We also received word yesterday that the Hutton’s Wildland Fire Management Team will be assuming command of the Elder Creek Fire this morning. Our thanks go out to all who are working on this and the other fires.

Sept. 9, Saturday, at 7:30AMGilbrater Ridge Fire. Yesterday evening InciWeb reported… Moderate fire behavior with some single tree torching and some backing fire will occur. Smoke moderated fire activity today. Fire will have moderate spread to the north and east on uncontrolled portions of the fire. Portions of the Gibralter Ridge Fire are backing into Williams Creek and may cross in the next 12 to 24 hours.

Lake McDonald Rain

Sept. 9, Saturday, at 7:30AM – Sprague fire. Moderate fire behavior is expected in the next twelve hours, and heavy smoke will begin to lift. Active fire behavior is expected in the next 24 hours. A red flag warning is in effect Saturday afternoon and evening. A cold front will move across the Northern Rockies Saturday. An isolated shower or dry thunderstorm is possible, but the biggest concern from this front will be the wind. Winds will increase and become gusty during the afternoon with gusts of 25 to 35 mph. This will guarantee an improvement in visibility, but will favor extreme fire behavior. Breezy conditions will continue Sunday and Monday.

Sept. 8, Friday, at 5:00PMSprague fire and Adair Ridge fire in the Park. Here’s a great update from the Park that provides even more detailed information. Click here to get that full report.

Sept. 8, Friday, at 4:20PM – Weasel Fire. It looks like it’s spreading a bit this afternoon according to the DNRC Map. We don’t have any other information. If someone does know what’s going on with Weasel, could you send us a note?

Weasel Fire

Sept. 8, Friday, at 4:20PM – Parks Canada has issued an evacuation order for Waterton Lakes National Park. The Kenow Fire is over 19,000 acres.

Kenow Fire

Sept. 8, Friday, at 12:00PM – The National Weather Service has increased the Fire Watch for tomorrow to a full up Red Flag Warning from 2PM to 9PM tomorrow (Saturday). Dang.

Sept. 8, Friday, at 12:00PM –  Weasel fire is currently at 53 acres, just skunking around. A crew is going in to wrap Weasel Cabin and a couple of bridges. Visibility is keeping aircraft grounded in the area.  Here’s the current DNRC map. Stay tuned.

Weasel Fire Map

Sept. 8, Friday, at 7:30AM – Here is the full DNRC map for the morning. All of our fires seem to be heating up just a little bit and there is a new red spot above the Weasel fire that we don’t know anything about yet. As was reported below, the concern is winds (which could push out the smoke) and possible lightning over the weekend. Here is the Fire Weather Watch announcement again. And, yes, we still have smoke this morning.

Why is the smoke actually a good thing? Here’s an explanation from Debo… Although this smoke is very annoying, it is helping us with fires. The smoke is keeping the temperatures cooler and the relative humidity higher. For instance, yesterday morning while it was 73 degrees with RH 21% on top of a nearby peak, down here in the valley under the smoke layer it was 40 degrees with 96% humidity! This is helping to keep the fires stable and they have not been growing much.

Fire Map

Sept. 8, Friday, at 7:30AM – Sprague fire and Adair Ridge fire in the Park.  High pressure is causing stagnant conditions with no air flow to transport smoke. This is resulting in extremely poor visibility across the region, visibility of less than 1 mile. These conditions are expected to persist through Friday, then improve Saturday as transport winds increase ahead of an approaching cold front. An isolated dry thunderstorm is possible Friday night or Saturday, but the main concern for the weekend will be increasing wind speeds. A Fire Weather Watch has been issued for the region this weekend for the passage of the cold front and the development of gusty westerly winds.

Sept. 8, Friday, at 7:30AM – The Elder Ridge fire on the border. No new information this morning yet, although the DNRC map makes it look like it’s currently growing on our side of the border in the park.

Elder Creek Fire

Sept. 8, Friday, at 7:30AM – Kenna comes up with good ones. Here’s another from the North Fork Classifieds… Curious what the winds have in store? Check out this app – take the time to explore settings and various features. It’s free and really cool.Windy.com

Sept. 7, Thursday, at 2:00PM – Just in case you’re interested… we still have smoke. The National Weather Service has issued a Fire Weather Watch for our area from Saturday afternoon through Saturday evening. Strong westerly winds will begin early Saturday afternoon and continue to create widespread critical fire weather conditions through late Saturday evening. While humidity is not expected to fall to critical levels, winds could be strong enough to supersede humidity. Winds: West 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 35 mph likely. Ridgetops could experience gusts over 40 mph, especially fires immediately along the Continental Divide.

Sept. 7, Thursday, at 7:00AM –  DNRC wildland fire map . All the fires seem quiet this morning except for Gilbrater which seems to be making a run to the west. The predicted east winds later today should help with that.

Gilbrater, Weasel, and Elder Creek fire map

Adair Peak and Sprague fire map

Sept. 7, Thursday, at 7:00AM – The Elder Ridge fire on the border. Last night the park said… the Elder Creek Fire up the North Fork at the border is about 1,800 acres, but only 80 acres are in Glacier, the rest is in Canada, east of the river.

Sept. 7, Thursday, at 7:00AM – Adair Ridge fire in the Park. Last night the Park said… The Adair Peak Fire near Logging Lake is about 1,375 acres. Moderate activity with creeping, smoldering, and backing. The fire is creeping in dead and down fuels of mixed conifer with jackpots of fuel from the 2003 Wolf Gun burn.

Sept. 7, Thursday, at 7:00AM – Sprague fire. Last night the Park said… The Sprague Fire didn’t grow overnight because of the smoke, fire managers said. Firefighters are bolstering defenses near Lake McDonald Lodge, though local fire engines were released for the time being due to reduced fire activity. Over 1,000 feet of mainline and 8,000 feet of lateral hand line will be arriving today in the Lake McDonald Lodge complex area. This is a system of high capacity sprinklers designed to wet large areas to create a fire break. Yesterday firefighters installed hose lays and sprinklers in the Avalanche Creek Campground. Today they will be working to install a similar system in the North McDonald Lake area.

Sept. 7, Thursday, at 7:00AM – Here is some good sleuthing on Kenna’s part from the North Fork Classifieds… I was curious how the Wedge Canyon fire perimeter relates to current fires up on the north end…thought others might like to see it all in one place too. This map draws from today’s DNRC mapping plus the USFS Wedge Canyon mapping.

Wedge perimeter

Sept. 6, Wednesday, at 7:00PM – All of the fires are a little more active this afternoon. DNRC wildland fire map . Check out Weasel for example.

Fire Map

Sept. 6, Wednesday, at 5:00PM – A NF neighbor sent in the following… Met Larry on the road around 2 today. He said the Elder Creek fire is now burning east and Waterton is under pre-evac warning. Pre-evac lifted from NF. Also, Shawn said that some fire guys came by Home Ranch Bottoms early this afternoon and said that the smoke should ease up by tomorrow afternoon. Let’s hope it’s so!

Sept. 6, Wednesday, at 3:00PM – Got smoke. There are usually big mountains in the background.

Smoke

Sept. 6, Wednesday, at 1:30PM – From Janette Turk, Flathead National Forest Public Affairs Officer (Fire Information: 406-387-3800) – North Fork current situation… At this time there are no direct threats from fire to the residents of the North Fork Flathead area and there are no planned evacuations. Forest fire fighting resources are supporting the fires listed above and are prepared with initial attack resources as needed. The forest will share updated fire information if significant fire activity occurs.

Sept. 6, Wednesday, at 1:30PM – Adair Ridge fire in the Park. From Janette Turk, Flathead National Forest Public Affairs Officer (Fire Information: 406-387-3800)
Location: South of Logging Lake in Glacier National Park. Detected: August 12, 2017;  Cause: Lightning;  Current size: 1,335 acres   Ownership: Glacier National Park Other cooperators: Flathead National Forest, Flathead County. Information Phone: 406-387-9092 Website: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5590/
FIRE SUMMARY: The Adair Peak Fire is burning in Glacier National Park south of Logging Lake. The fire grew significantly on the night of Sunday, September 3, 2017, to its current size of 1,335 acres. Fire has had very little growth since Sunday. A Type 2 Wildland Fire Management Team, led by Diane Hutton, assumed command of the fire on September 5, 2017.

Sept. 6, Wednesday, at 1:30PM – The Elder Ridge fire on the border. From Janette Turk, Flathead National Forest Public Affairs Officer (Fire Information: 406-387-3800)
Location: On the U.S. and Canada border, east of the North Fork Flathead River in Glacier National Park. Detected: August 31, 2017;  Cause: Unknown;  Legal Description: E 1/2 Section 03, 02, 01, T37N, R22W; Lat/Long:  Lat 48° 59.8 , Long 114° 25.0;  Current size: 150 acres in Glacier National Park, 1200 acres total. Ownership: Glacier National Park and British Columbia Ministry of Forestry; Other cooperators: Flathead National Forest, Border Patrol, Flathead County.
FIRE SUMMARY: The Elder Creek Fire is burning in Glacier National Park on the U.S. and Canada Border. Glacier National Park is responsible for wildfire response and is being supported by crews from the Flathead National Forest and Flathead County Emergency Services. Canada is taking a confine and contain strategy and the Flathead National Forest is conducting point protection efforts in the Moose City area and has sprinklers in place. A type 6 engine from the Flathead National Forest is monitoring the fire. Very little fire growth has been seen on the U.S. side of the border and there has been no westward movement of the fire in the last 24 hours.

Sept. 6, Tuesday, at 1:30PM – Gilbrater fire. From Janette Turk, Flathead National Forest Public Affairs Officer (Fire Information: 406-387-3800)
Location: 7 miles east of Eureka Detected: August 7, 2017; Cause: Lightning;  Current size: 7,195 acres   Ownership: Kootenai National Forest Other cooperators: Flathead National Forest, Flathead County. Information Phone: 406-272-2082;  Incident Email: gibralterridgefire2017@gmail.com Website: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5474/
FIRE SUMMARY: The Gibralter Ridge Fire is burning in the Kootenai National Forest approximately 7 miles east of Eureka.  The east side of the fire has moved into the mouth of the Blue Sky drainage in the Whitefish Range. To protect health and public safety by keeping the public out of the active fire area, the Kootenai National Forest has closed a large area from the Whitefish divide to the west boundary of the Fortine District, and from the Canadian Border to Deep Creek. This includes the portion of NFS Road #114 from the Flathead National Forest boundary to the junction with Stoken Bridge/Foothills Road. To support these efforts the Flathead National Forest has installed a gate on NFS Road #114 (Trail Creek) and has closed NFS Road #144 from mile point 8.8 to 14.8, the boundary with the Kootenai National Forest. There are no trail or area closures on the Flathead National Forest in relation to the Gibralter Ridge Fire at this time.

The Gibralter Ridge Fire is burning in the Kootenai National Forest approximately 7 miles east of Eureka.  The east side of the fire has moved into the mouth of the Blue Sky drainage in the Whitefish Range. To protect health and public safety by keeping the public out of the active fire area, the Kootenai National Forest has closed a large area from the Whitefish divide to the west boundary of the Fortine District, and from the Canadian Border to Deep Creek. This includes the portion of NFS Road #114 from the Flathead National Forest boundary to the junction with Stoken Bridge/Foothills Road. To support these efforts the Flathead National Forest has installed a gate on NFS Road #114 (Trail Creek) and has closed NFS Road #114 from mile point 8.8 to 14.8, the boundary with the Kootenai National Forest. There are no additional trail or area closures on the Flathead National Forest in relation to the Gibralter Ridge Fire at this time. Information for the Gibralter Ridge Fire can be found at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5474/.   For Flathead interagency fire information visit https://www.facebook.com/FlatheadOES.

Sept. 6, Wednesday, at 7:00AM – DNRC wildland fire map for the morning. The Adair Peak fire looks like it’s making a run to the northeast, but that’s not a concern. Otherwise, all is quiet this morning. Long may it last.

Sept. 6, Wednesday, at 7:00AM – Kishenehn Fire (Starvation Ridge) is almost done.  There is still smoke from the interior heavies that will burn out.

Sept. 6, Wednesday, at 7:00AM – Adair Ridge fire in the Park. Moderate fire behavior is expected with heavy smoke, torching, spotting, and surface spread. Structure protection needs will be assessed for the Upper and Lower Logging Lake Cabins. Additional structure protection will be done as equipment comes available. The Adair Peak Fire has moved to the Sprague Management Team. It continues to burn but with the lack of wind it appears to have slowed way down. The smoke is helping to lower temps, raise RH, and is generally helping to slow fire growth. This smoke has to be good for something, right?

Sept. 6, Wednesday, at 7:00AM – Sprague fire. Moderate fire behavior is expected in the next twenty-four hours with heavy smoke. Single and group tree torching along with short range spotting on Snyder Ridge, lower Lincoln Creek, and Walton Creek. There is expected to be backing, flanking, spotting, and tree torching on the west side of Mt. Brown. Moderate fire behavior is expected in the next twenty-four hours with heavy smoke. Single and group tree torching along with short range spotting on Snyder Ridge, lower Lincoln Creek, and Walton Creek. There is expected to be backing, flanking, spotting, and tree torching on the west side of Mt. Brown. KPAX has an article on the fire.

Sept. 6, Wednesday, at 7:00AM – What do wildfire terms and phrases mean? We thought this KPAX article useful.

Sept. 6, Wednesday, at 7:00AM – The Elder Ridge fire on the border. Still not on InciWeb. We’ve heard that Elder is about 150 acres on our side with an additional 600 in Canada. A few miles NE of Elder is the Kenow Mtn Fire. It is at 10,920 acres. Check out this story from the Hungry Horse News.

Sept. 5, Tuesday, at 6:00PM – Adair Ridge fire in the Park. The center of the fire seems to be heating up, but nothing coming at us. Long may it last.

Sept. 5, Tuesday, at 6:00PM – A Trail Creek resident just reported that there is not sheriff representative at the head of Trail Creek turning folks back. There is a sign that says “Trail Creek Road is closed 5 miles ahead”. We’ve also heard that air traffic has been grounded due to the smoke/lack of visibility.

Sept. 5, Tuesday, at 3:30PM – Weasel Fire. Another little red dot showed up in the area of the Weasel Fire on the DNRC wildland fire map .

Sept. 5, Tuesday, at 2:00PM – Weasel Fire. Two red dots representing active fire have shown up on the DNRC wildland fire map that we think must be the Weasel Fire. To the west of Review Mountain. We don’t have any other information that that. Stay tuned.

Sept. 5, Tuesday, at 11:00AM – The smoke in the Ford area is as thick as we’ve seen it all week. But no wind. Air quality is terrible.

Sept. 5, Tuesday, at 11:00AM – Adair Ridge fire in the Park. Glacier National Park fire managers have been monitoring the fire which is now at 1335 acres. The fire is burning in a remote area of the park on the south side of Logging Lake. Fire managers expect the fire behavior to moderate as this fire enters old fire scars. Yesterday personnel wrapped the two historic cabins at either end of Logging Lake. Hutton’s Wildland Fire Management Team assumed command of the fire today at 6:00 am.

Sept. 5, Tuesday, at 11:00AM – Sprague fire. 13,343 acres. Fire is now established in the Walton drainage to the south of Lincoln Lake Trail. Heavy smoke is causing a reduction in fire behavior which has allowed firefighters more suppression opportunities. Yesterday two helicopters dipped out of Lake McDonald and worked to cool the fire in the Mt. Brown area. The night shift monitored fire activity on Snyder Ridge and patrolled the Lake McDonald Lodge complex. Lower temperatures and slightly higher relative humidity is forecast again for today.

Sept. 5, Tuesday, at 7:30AM – Check out the DNRC wildland fire map. There’s very little new active burning which is good news.

Fire Map

Sept. 5, Tuesday, at 7:30AM – Sprague fire. Among other things, InciWeb says… Crown runs and long range spotting in Lincoln Creek and Lincoln Ridge up to Snyder Ridge. Fire established in Walton Creek drainage to the south of Lincoln Creek. Winds are forecast to diminish with a warming trend Tuesday and above normal temperatures Wednesday and Thursday. With high pressure building almost directly overhead this will result in stable conditions, light and variable winds, and little or no smoke transport. Concern is for smoke concentrations to increase within the Lake McDonald and West Glacier areas.

Sept. 5, Tuesday, at 7:30AM – Gilbrater fireAmong other things, InciWeb says… 62 assigned resource to this fire were moved to aid in fire suppression efforts on the Caribou Fire. This left 15 resources out on the Gibralter Ridge Fire patrolling, holding, and mopping up.

Sept. 5, Tuesday, at 7:30AM – Adair Ridge fire in the Park. Still listed at 1,330 acres. Word has it that there was minimal activity during the night. The winds were 0-3mph so hardly any growth. It was a good night.

Sept. 4, Monday, at 6:00PM – Adair Ridge fire in the Park. It’s finally on InciWeb currently listed at 1,330 acres. Next 24 hours: Fire behavior will be moderate to high. Fire behavior will be moderated as it enters the fire scar from the 2003 Moose Fire. Due to the Adair Peak Fire, the Inside North Fork Road is closed from Polebridge Ranger Station south to Camas Creek. This closure also includes the Logging Creek and Quartz Creek campgrounds.

Sept. 4, Monday, at 6:00PM – The Elder Ridge fire on the border. Here’s another note from a Trail Creek neighbor… Talked with the deputy sheriff again on the way up the road [the sheriff is posted at the beginning of Trail Creek road to limit access to residents only].  He said that the driver of a water truck told him that fire personnel responding to Elder Creek are doing structure prep in the 2-mile zone south of the border.  He also said that the fire is still several miles east of the river and that winds are okay for now.  I saw a truck pumping water from Trail Creek. Super smoky here, much more so than at your place; probably less than 1 mile visibility.

Sept. 4, Monday, at 6:00PM – Weasel Fire. Here’s a note from a Trail Creek neighbor who had heard from some folks who should know… It sounds like it is 2 acres. It’s supposedly an outgrowth of the Gibraltar so [presumably] they have people on it. I asked if Weasel is over by Therriault Lakes and they said that is the general area. Another source said that they thought that the heavy helicopter’s bucket work done earlier must have knocked it down.

Sept. 4, Monday, at 3:40PM – The red flag warning has apparently been lifted early. Yeah! The Air Quality Alert is still on, however.

Sept. 4, Monday, at 3:40PM – The Elder Ridge fire on the border. Flathead County Road and Bridge Supervisor, Ovila Byrd, has confirmed that water trucks are headed to the border in support of the Elder Ridge fire.

Sept. 4, Monday, at 11:30AM – Adair Ridge fire in the Park. Several sources confirmed that last night, as you can see below, Adair moved 2 miles down Logging Lake to the East, it also had some growth on top of the Ridge. It grew to 1,200 acres. People at the Adair campground at the foot of Logging Lake evacuated themselves. Campers at Logging Creek and Quartz Creek also left. Finally, most of the “casuals” along the river on the Park side have left.

Sept. 4, Monday, at 11:30AM – The Elder Ridge fire on the border. Sources say that the Elder Creek Fire had minimal growth last night. Trail Creek Road and North Fork Road north of it are closed to everyone except locals.

Sept. 4, Monday, at 6:20AM – Adair Ridge fire. This map is from the DNRC Interactive Wildland Fire website.

Adair Ridge Fire

Sept. 4, Monday, at 6:20AMSprague Fire, Gilbralter Ridge Fire, The Adair Fire in the park, the Elder Creek Fire on the border. This map is from the DNRC Interactive Wildland Fire website.

Fires

Sept. 3, Sunday, at 10:27PM – Coming home this evening ran into Lincoln Chute.  He was going up to tell the guy stationed at Frozen Lake Road to move out to the main road so Trail Creek Road will now be closed except to residents.

Sept. 3, Sunday, at 10:15PMThe Adair Fire in the Park, which is on the south side of Logging Lake, took a run west this evening covering about a mile in 90 minutes. But now the winds are down and the fire appears to be slowing. There’s nothing really showing on the DNRC Interactive Wildland Fire map. If anyone has any more information, please let us know.

Sept. 3, Sunday, at 4:40PM – Sprague fire in the Park.  Going to Sun road closed from pass down to Lake McDonald.

Sept. 3, Sunday, at 4:40PMAt Elder Creek Fire on the Border there have apparently been bucket drops on the fire from the US side, but nobody on the ground yet, at least as far as we’ve heard.

Here’s a blowup from the DNRC Interactive Wildland Fire Map. There’s now more yellow than red, which is a good thing.

Elder Creek Fire on Sunday

Sept. 3, Sunday, at 10:40AM – Elder Creek Fire on the Border. We’ve heard that at least one engine plus crew is headed north and one helicopter is on scene (we saw that going up the road around 9:30). These assets are probably just assessing the Fire. This is all good news because we’ve also heard that resources are scarce, working on the other fires in the area. Stay Tuned.

Sept. 3, Sunday, at 8:30AMAt Elder Creek Fire on the Border. Steve Kelly posted the big news of the morning on the North Fork MT Residents Classifieds… This is the fire 3 miles east of the river on the border at 9 PM. The border patrol stopped by at 7 PM with a pre-evacuation notice since The wind is forecasted to turn and be from the east at 3 PM Sunday. The pre-evacuation order was for people on the N. Fork Rd. 2 miles south of the border.

Sept. 3, Sunday, late afternoon – Weasel Fire west of Thoma. Saturday a helicopter reported a new start west of Thoma 8-9 miles.  Weasel Lake. A helicopter was headed that way Sunday morning to take a look.

Sept. 2, Saturday – At Elder Creek Fire on the Border. 

Photo of Canadian fire on Saturday night, Sept. 2 by Steve Kelly

Canada Fire | photo the the Winklers

Photo on Friday from the Winklers who live near the border.

Sept. 1, Friday – The Kishenehn Fire has folks on the ground. A helicopter has been ordered and should arrive around 1000-1030.  It should drop buckets for one fuel cycle–maybe more if needed.  There was minimal growth last night.  Before they hiked to Kintla to sleep they: completed the saw cut 100%, dug a hand line around 75%, and felt good about their first day’s progress. They estimated 2+ days more. 11 personnel on scene. Possibly 20% contained.

More Fire Information Resources

An interagency fire information line has been established in order to streamline calls, share facts and serve the public during fire season. The Office of Emergency Services Information Line is 406-758-2111, and the Interagency Fire Fact Sheet can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/FlatheadOES.  Fact sheets will be updated as needed during the fire season.

DNCR Interactive Wildland Fire Map – Great summary of the fires that are going on everywhere.
http://gis.dnrc.mt.gov/apps/firemap/

Lighting Map – for real-time lightening strike information
https://www.lightningmaps.org/?lang=en#m=sat;r=0;t=2;s=0;o=0;b=;n=0;y=48.5183;x=-113.6441;z=7;d=2;dl=2;dc=0;

Fire Imagery – Remote Sensing Applications Center – Tap on MODIS Satellite Imagery to get information about where our smoke is coming from.
https://fsapps.nwcg.gov/afm/imagery.php?op=fire&fireID=id-mt-000

WildCAD – Kalispell Interagency Dispatch Center – Dispatches from our area. It can be a little difficult to interpret, but useful.
http://www.wildcad.net/WCMT-KIC.htm

InciWeb – A national website showing the big fires under active management. This page is for Montana.
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/state/27/

Northern Rockies Geographic Area Current Wildfire Activity – Great overview map for our area
https://gacc.nifc.gov/nrcc/predictive/intelligence/ytd_historical/firemaps/current_large_wf.htm

Active Fire Map Program – Nice map of large fires.
https://fsapps.nwcg.gov/afm/

Northern Rockies Coordination Center – More good incident information.
https://gacc.nifc.gov/nrcc/index.htm

Montana DEQ (Air Quality) – Some information about the air quality and suggestions on what to do.
http://svc.mt.gov/deq/todaysair/

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About NFNews Editor

Patti Hart is the editor-in-chief and founder of the NFNews.net. Patti lives on the North Fork during the summers and travels the world for the rest of the year, updating NFNews every day wherever there is an internet connection.

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