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Paola Ridge Fire

Unit Information

Flathead National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
650 Wolfpack Way
Kalispell, MT 59901

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This incident is no longer being updated.

9-16-18 Paola Ridge Fire Information MapImage options: [ Full Size ]

FIRE SUMMARY: The Paola Ridge Fire is burning in the Flathead National Forest. This fire is being managed with modified confine and contain strategy with indirect tactics; fire fighter and public safety is a priority. The fire is burning in steep terrain with subalpine forest and brushy avalanche chutes.


The Flathead National Forest and our interagency partners experienced lighting storms throughout the northwest Montana zone on the evening of August 11th. Multiple fires were reported, initial attack is occurring, resources are responding, and more firefighting resources are being ordered. There are no evacuations at this time for this incident, however and EVACUATION WARNING is in place for a small number of residences near Essex. Please follow @FlatheadOES, as warning notices or evacuations will be coordinated through this partner.

Video of the September 4th community meeting is available at

A story map of the progression of the fire is available at

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
CauseLightning / Natural
Date of OriginSaturday August 11th, 2018 approx. 10:30 PM
LocationNear the town of Essex, which is located on US-2
Incident CommanderManny Mendoza, US Forest Service
Coordinates48.311 latitude, -113.651 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel58
Size1,111 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained63%
Estimated Containment DateThursday November 01st, 2018 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Timber (Litter and Understory)

Brush (2 feet)

Closed Timber Litter

Significant Events

Minimal,Creeping, Smoldering


Planned Actions

Monitor fire progression on Paola Ridge and above Dickey Creek. Be prepared to take suppression actions and initiate structure protection if management action points are met. Mop up and secure dozer and hand lines.

Projected Incident Activity

24 Hours: Cool and moist weather will keep fire behavior to a minimum. The fire should mainly see creeping and smoldering. No additional growth is expected.


Tentative schedule to transfer incident back to the local unit on Monday 9/17/18 at 0600.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

Forecast for Monday Day Shift

Sky/Wx: Low clouds and fog possible in the morning, followed by a mostly sunny afternoon.

Winds: Ridgetop-southwest to west 10-15 gust to 20 mph

Slope/Valley-upslope, up valley 3-7 mph, expect a southerly direction in north/south aligned valleys

Max Temp: 50-60F

Min RH: 35-40%

Cool, dry autumn weather will persist until our next wetting rain expected next Thursday evening into Friday.