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Tenmile Fire

Unit Information

Kootenai National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
31374 US Hwy 2
Libby, MT 59923

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Incident Contact

Tenmile/Sterling Fire Information
Phone: 208-495-4228
Hours: 7am-9pm daily

Highlighted Activity

08/20/2018 Tenmile Fire and Sterling Complex Fire Update
Summary: After eight days, crews and heavy equipment working in thick timber have contained 23% of the Huckleberry/ Cliff and Pinkham Tower fires’ perimeter; this despite 121 new acres of growth,..
News - 08/20/2018
Photo by Brian Gentry Standing snagImage options: [ Full Size ]

After eight days, crews and heavy equipment working in thick timber have contained 23% of the Huckleberry/ Cliff and Pinkham Tower fires’ perimeter; this despite 121 new acres of growth, occurring mostly on the Huckleberry Fire. Two additional hand crews and engines are arriving to bolster suppression capacity. Their expertise will enable critical burning operations that will increase containment.

The number of resources working on the Tenmile Fire and Sterling Complex fires is staring to peak with nearly 300 firefighters supporting the fires. There are 32 pieces of equipment, which include feller-bunchers, skidders, skidgens, water tenders and masticators and four hand crews that are working with 12 engines and two helicopters to deliver water. As a team, this complement of resources are proving to be very effective in the thick timber that continues to torch and occasionally create new spot fires.

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginTuesday July 31st, 2018 approx. 10:46 AM
Location19 Miles south of Eureka, MT It is directly east of Lake Koocanusa, burning in Tenmile drainage, for which the fire was named.
Incident CommanderEvans Kuo, Great Basin Incident Management Team 5
Incident DescriptionWildfire
Coordinates48.594 latitude, -115.164 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel117
Size681 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained91%
Estimated Containment DateSaturday August 18th, 2018 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Timber, regeneration timber, brush and deep duff


Planned Actions

On the Tenmile fire, engines, water tenders and a hand crew are extinguishing three large pockets of heat found on the north, south and eastern edges of the fire that will take a few more shifts to extinguish. Crews are also using a sprinkler to soak the fire area throughout the day. When their work is complete, containment of the Tenmile Fire will be close to 100% contained.

In addition to firefighters extinguishing hot spots in the Tenmile fire, a Resource Advisor will be evaluating the containment lines to determine what the suppression repair needs will be for the fire area. Suppression repair work is one of the final stages of maintaining a fire as it helps reduce the effects of erosion and reduces the visual scarring heavy equipment cause. While it is still too early to begin repairing the containment lines, this is an important first step firefighters are preparing to take in the next few days.

Projected Incident Activity

The Tenmile Fire has not moved and is not projected to grow in size unless a significant wind event occurs.

As the Tenmile Fire reaches containment, fire management resources are shifting equipment and firefighters to the Sterling Complex.


The Tenmile Fire is being managed with the Huckleberry, Cliff, Swamp Creek and Pinkham Tower wildfires, referred to as the Sterling Complex. For information regarding those fires, see

A National Forest Closures Order is in place: The Public Information Map identifies the perimeter of the Fire Area. The Forest Closure Order is also online:

Stage II Fire Restrictions are in effect. Please do not build, maintain, attend, or use a fire or campfire; operate motorized vehicles off designated trails, or smoke, except within enclosed vehicles, buildings, or other designated areas. From 1:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. operating internal combustion engines; welding, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame or using explosives is also banned. More information is online at

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

A cold front will pass over the fire area this morning. This will bring strong gusty winds and more humid, cooler conditions. This wind will test nearly complete containment lines. Temperatures in the valleys and ridgetops will stay in the 60’s and low 70’s with a gentle upslope breeze.