August 31, 8:00 AM Lolo Creek Complex Fire Update
Incident: Lolo Creek Complex Wildfire
Information Hotline: 406-273-6831 or 406-273-6384 August 31, 2013 – 8:00 AM
What: Wildland FireStarted: August 18, 2013Location: Approximately 8 miles west of Lolo, MTJurisdiction: Montana DNRCCooperating Agencies: US Forest Service, Montana DNRCOther Cooperating or Assisting Agencies: American Red Cross, Missoula County Sheriff’s Office, Missoula County Disaster and Emergency Services, Missoula and Ravalli County RFDs, Montana Highway Patrol, Montana National Guard, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (Canada)
Current size: 10,902 acres Containment: 85% Expected Containment: Sept. 3rdFire Resources: 685 personnel; 16 Crews; 5 helicopters; 27 engines; 6 dozers; 18 water tenders.
National Forest Closure: The Lolo National Forest reduced the size of the closure area around the fire at 5 PM yesterday. Some areas south of US Highway 12 and part of the Blue Mountain Recreation Area are now open. Fort Fizzle, Earl Tennant Campground and Lolo Creek Campground along US Highway 12 remain closed. To see a current map of the new closure area, go to www.inciweb.org . Fire Activity: Today’s weather forecast should modify fire behavior, with little torching and mostly a creeping, smoldering fire. Temperatures will be from 79-84 degrees F. with humidity in the mid to upper 20% range. Winds will be out of the west-northwest from 5-10 MPH, gusting to 15 MPH. Firefighters have been able to mop up from the fire’s edge anywhere from 50 to 100 feet into the fire with the majority of mop up left to do on the north side of the fire in the areas of Camp Creek, Woodman Creek and Sawmill Gulch. Water has been brought into the line to speed up mop up operations. The south, west and east sides of the fire are in patrol status.
Travelers on U.S. Highway 12, which is now open, are limited to 45 mph from milepost 20 to 32, with no stopping or parking alongside the highway until further notice. Local residents and travelers should expect to see occasional smoke on the slopes above the valley floor as stumps, snags and logs continue to smolder into the fall season. These should be located well within containment lines.
All federal, state, and private lands in West Central Montana are in Stage 1 fire restrictions. For specific information on these restrictions, go to http://fwp.mt.gov/news/drought/definitions.html.
Prevention Message: Now is an excellent time to get your property prepared for the next wildfire in the area. It is not a matter of if, but when, the next fire will occur. For information on creating defensible space around your home and property, go to http://www.firewise.org/information/who-is-this-for/homeowners/defensible-space.aspx.