Liberty Fire

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Liberty Fire


Approximate Location

47.139 latitude, -113.78 longitude

Incident Overview

Evacuation Warning for Placid Lake Lifted

The Evacuation Warning for Seeley Lake remains in place; however, the Evacuation Warning for Placid Lake was lifted monday at 12 noon. The Missoula County Office of Emergency Management has established a hot line number for any Evacuation Warning or Order questions at (406) 258-4636.

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginSaturday July 15th, 2017 approx. 06:00 AM
Location17 Miles SE of Arlee Montana in the South Fork Primitive Area.
Incident CommanderGB IMT 3 Taiga Rohrer

Current Situation

Total Personnel272
Size5,412 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained90%
Estimated Containment DateMonday September 25th, 2017 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Timber (Litter and Understory

Closed Timber Litter

Timber (Grass and Understory)

Heavy Dead/Down Component under the canopy

Significant Events

Crews will finish constructing and improving confinement lines in the northwest section of the fire in the drainage above the Burnt Cabin, including finishing knocking down a section of heavy timber and snags along the line.


Planned Actions

Firefighters will continue to improve the direct primary confinement line, patrol & hold direct containment lines, & mitigate hazard trees near road systems. Monitor fire spread towards containment features. Aircraft may be used to check fire growth as needed. Provide initial attack on new starts within the TFR (Temporary Flight Restrictions.)

Projected Incident Activity

12 hours: The fire will continue to smolder & creep in the duff & timber litter overnight.

24 hours: Fire is expected to continue to be active on Div T. as it moves southeast into the Gold Creek Peak and Gold Creek area. In Div. K/L/M fire south of Elk Meadows is beginning to become active & movement towards south east is increasing. Where fire activity is exposed to west/northwest wind, isolated & group torching with spotting will likely develop in the afternoon. Gold Creek Peak Cabin will be threatened and point source protection associate w Maps 2 & 11 will be in place. On remaining portions of fire, smoldering & creeping ground fire is expected to continue where there is heat.

48 hours: As the predicted dry cold front moves through the fire area, fire behavior on Div T. & K/L/M will continue to move to the south and east, into the Gold Creek Peak area, and Boles Creek. Where fire activity is exposed to stronger winds of the cold front, isolated & group torching w spotting will likely develop. Gold Creek Peak Cabin will be threatened and point protection associated w Maps 2 & 11 will be in place. On remaining portions of the fire, smoldering & creeping ground fire is expected to continue in area where there is heat.


Fire Suppression Strategy was changed from 100% Full Suppression to 70% Confine, 20% Monitor, and 10% Full Suppression. The operational strategy was modified due to factors including elevated risk for personnel constructing direct line in most areas of the fire, low probability of success in direct line containment, and fire stalling at natural barriers. Approximately 85% (21 miles) of primary confinement line has been constructed and is being improved. Direct Containment line (3.5 miles) is complete & being monitored & improved. Management Action Points have been developed for implementation in the long term strategy.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

After good overnight humidity recovery, nearly full sunshine brought continued warming & drying. Humidity fell below 20%. Temperatures topped out near 75. 20 foot west to northwest winds on ridges averaged near 10 mph with some gusts to 15 mph in the afternoon.

Forecasted: Continued warm & dry on Thursday w temperatures reaching around 80 & humidity falling into the 11 to 17% range. Winds will average out of the west northwest at 10 to 15 mph on ridges, west to east oriented valleys, and west slopes w gusts to 20 mph under another day of strong sunshine.

The gradual warming & drying trend should continue into the weekend. The warm & dry conditions should combine w stronger southwest to west winds particularly on Friday & lingering into Saturday as a dry cold front approaches & moves through. Dray & warm weather will continue into next week.

Unit Information

Flathead Agency
PO Box 40
Pablo, MT 59855

Incident Contact

Liberty Fire Information
Phone: 406-272-4354
Hours: 8:00am - 8:00pm

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