From Janette Turk, Public Relations Officer for Flathead National Forest:
Monday night’s storm system that passed through NW Montana produced thunderstorms that sparked several new wildfire starts on the Flathead National Forest in the Swan Lake Ranger District.
The Cold Lake fire is located on the ridge just south of Lower Cold Lake and is approximately 10 acres in size, in sub-alpine fir, and has several small spot fires. There are 7 smoke jumpers and a 21 person Initial Attack crew assigned to the fire. A Type 1 helicopter and a Type 3 helicopter have been doing bucket work to help suppression efforts.
The Jim Lake fire is located about ¾ of a mile east of Jim Lake and is 1 acre in size. There are 13 firefighters assigned to the fire. The firefighters are dealing with numerous snags and heavy fuel loads. They are working on installing a hose lay to expedite suppression efforts.
The Hall Lake fire is just west of Hall Lake and is 1.5 acres staffed with 22 firefighters. The firefighters made good progress on this fire and estimated containment of this fire is 9/1.
Van Jackstraw fire, in the Van Peak, area was .1 acres and was called out yesterday afternoon.
The Piper fire that started on August 5, continues to stay within the confines of the management strategy. The Piper Fire is burning in steep, dangerous, and inaccessible terrain. Due to firefighter safety, the Piper Fire is being managed with a confine and contain strategy. Fire managers have a plan in place to take action on the fire when ground resources can safely mitigate the hazards. Currently crews are monitoring the fire closely.
Additionally, a couple thunderstorms will be possible in Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness this afternoon. The main threats from the storms will be gusty winds.
For additional information, contact Public Affairs Officer, Janette Turk at 406-758-5200.