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Whetstone Ridge Fire

Unit Information

Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
420 Barrett St Dillon Montana 59725
Dillon, MT 59725

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This incident is no longer being updated.

Plume of smoke as seen from the Ross Fork Rd. at ICPImage options: [ Full Size ]

The Whetstone Ridge and Meyers fires grew together on Tuesday, August 1, 2017, and as of today are designated as the Meyers Fire. The critical fire of Tuesday did not return yesterday. As a result, structure protection efforts in the Moose Lake area made significant progress and will continue today with continued favorable weathers. Weather today is expected to be cooler like yesterday with north northwest winds. NO STRUCTURES WERE LOST.

Crews also continued to reinforce the lines and seek opportunities to utilize timber management equipment to improve the value of road #5106 as a containment line. Crews continued to monitor for spotting outside the fire perimeter threatening values at risk and implemented structure protection and initial attach actions as needed.

A new start, Old Dominion fire, was detected on July 31, 2017, and is also a result of lightning experienced in mid-July. The fire is located east of Moose Lake and estimated to be 6 acres. It is currently staffed and 75% contained.

Today structure protection efforts will continue in the Moose Lake area. Easterly winds, green valley bottom fuels, and fuel treatments on the north slopes will aid structure protection efforts there. Crews and equipment will work to complete and improve fie line to the east, near road #5106.

The current Fire Danger is VERY HIGH. Recreationists are reminded to use caution with any outdoor activity that may cause a spark. Never leave campfires unattended. Pour water and add dirt to your campfire until your campfire is cold. Remember: If it's too hot to touch, it's too hot to leave.

Smoke Forecast: The smoke forecast for Philipsburg and the surrounding area residents should expect patchy smoke in the morning and a mostly sunny afternoon.

Evacuations: The Granite County Sheriff issued EVACUTION notices for the FROG POND BASIN, COPPER CREEK CAMPGROUND, AND MOOSE LAKE areas.

Fire Restrictions: Granite County has implemented Stage II Fire restrictions for private lands within Granite County.

Closures: An emergency Closure Order, dated July 22, 2017, is in place for Copper Creek road #80 closed at the junction with Moose Lake road #5106. The Copper Creek Campground is closed.

Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR): A TFR encompasses the area over both fires.Formore information

This will be the last update for the Whetstone Ridge fire. For current information:


Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginThursday July 13th, 2017 approx. 08:30 AM
Location25 air miles SW of Philipsburg, MT
Incident CommanderMike Almas, ICT2
Incident DescriptionWildfire
Coordinates46.049 latitude, -113.647 longitude

Current Situation

Size11,593 Acres
Fuels Involved

Timber (Litter and Understory) Most significant fuel is mixed conifer dominated by lodgepole pine with a heavy dead component from beetle kill. ERC's in the 70's, suggesting that both fine fuels and heavy dead fuels are very dry.

Significant Events

Fire behavior: active, torching, spotting, creeping. Fire remains active along yesterday's new perimeter gains. Cooler, more stable conditions reducing potential for crown fire.


Planned Actions

Implement structure protection measures. Scout fuel breaks and utilize heavy equipment to implement control lines. Implement a direct suppression strategy where it is the most viable option, taking advantage of favorable conditions. Tomorrow's focus will continue to widen fuel breaks from DIV R, south through DIV E (north and east side of fire).

Projected Incident Activity

12 hours: Mostly clear. Patchy smoke in the valleys. Low temperatures in the lower 40s in the valleys and low 60s on the mid-slopes. Winds will be down valley and down drainage at around 4 to 7 mph with wind on the ridges from the east at 5 to 10 gusting to 15 mph. Max relative humidity values from 60% to 70% in the valleys and 35% to 45% on ridges.

24 hours: Areas of smoke in the morning. Sunny in the afternoon. High temperatures around 82 to 87 in the valleys and 75 to 80 on the ridges. Winds will be upslope and up-valley 5 to 9 mph with the valleys and 75 to 80 on the ridges. Winds will be upslope and up-valley 5 to 9 mph with gust up to 15 mph in the valleys with north to northwest flow returning to the ridges at 8 to 12 gusting to 18 mph. Min relative humidity values from 14% to 19% in the valleys and 30% to 35% on ridges.


. (7)For today and going forward, the Meyers acreage will include 3621 acres formerly attributed to the Whetstone Ridge fire.

(8)The team is constructing indirect contingency fire breaks. The focus of this effort is protecting private development, primarily on the east side of the fire. Currently the total length of fire break completed is as follows: 2 miles of hand line, 9 miles of dozer line and 17 miles of shaded fuel break. This constitutes 82% of the planned primary and contingency fire break. In addition direct line construction has started where the fire has slopped over containment lines. The structure group has triaged and/or prepared 82 structures nearest to the fire. These numbers are for both the Meyers and Whetstone Ridge fires.

(45) Cost for the Whetstone Ridge fire is currently captured under the Meyers fire.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

24-36 Hour Summary: With a cold front passing southeast along the Divide overnight cooler and less drier conditions have settled across the incident. Easterly winds have set up slightly weaker with some 5 to 10 knot winds and a few gusts to 15. The ridge building again to the west will reorganize the northwest flow again and drier conditions will return for Thursday.