Update August 1, 2017
Incident: Whetstone Ridge Fire Wildfire
Meyers & Whetstone fires
August 1, 2017, 9:00a.m. For Immediate Release
Facts at a Glance
Size: Meyers: 1,674 acres
Whetstone: 3,621 acres
Date Started: July 13-14, 2017
Percent Containment: Meyers - 0%
Whetstone – 0%
Personnel: 484 which includes 3 Type 1 (Hot Shot) crews, 4 Type 2 hand crews, 1 Hot Shot Crews plus various support personnel.
Equipment: 14 engines, 30 pieces of heavy equipment including dozers, water tenders, skidgines, chippers, masticators, log loaders, feller-buncher, forwarders and skidders
Aircraft Assigned: 3 Type 2 and 1 Type 3 Helicopters; additional air resources available from Hamilton, MT and the Sapphire Complex
There will be a Community Meeting at the Granite High School Cafeteria, 407 Schnepel Street in Philipsburg, MT on Wednesday, August 2, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.
The Whetstone and Meyers fires were detected on July 13-14, 2017 after a recent lightning storm. The fires are located 25 miles southwest of Philipsburg, Montana. Both fires are burning in Lodgepole Pine, Subalpine Fir, and Douglas Fir in steep, rough terrain. Pockets of Mountain Pine Beetle kill are present throughout the fire perimeter. Mike Almas’ Northern Rockies Incident Management Team (IMT) took command of the fires at 6:00 a.m. this morning, August 1, 2017.
Firefighter, aviation, and public safety are the number one priority. 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. A map of the closure area is available on InciWeb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/photos/MTBDF/2017-07-14-1842-Whetestone-Ridge/picts/2017_07_21-18.104.22.1688-CDT.pdf The Moose Lake Road #5106 and Ross Fork Road #70 remain open to local traffic only.
The Granite County Sheriff issued an EVACUATION notice for the FROG POND BASIN & COPPER CREEK CAMPGROUND areas. These areas and cabins are closed.
Yesterday crews continued to construct and improve lines to the north and east of both fires. Due to extreme fire behavior crews and equipment constructing and holding lines near both fire perimeters retreated to safe locations. Crews continued to monitor for spotting outside the fire perimeter threatening values at risk and implemented initial attack actions as needed.
Today crews will continue to construct and improve lines to the north of both the Meyers and Whetstone fires. Crews and equipment are nearing completion of fire line to the east of both fires near road 5106. A masticator will continue to be used to create a fuel break along the 5106 road from the Moose Lake subdivision to the south. Crews will assess fire lines near Moose Lake and improve as needed. Structure Protection assessments will continue and fuels reduction may be implemented around structures.
Along the southern perimeter of the Whetstone fire, crews will continue preparation of equipment line from road 5107 to the south and install hose lays. Equipment line will be constructed from the end of road 5107 to Moose Meadows.
Today is expected to be a critical fire weather day. Relative humidity is expected to be in the low teens to single digits. Ridge top winds from the north and northwest are predicted and will increase to 15-20 mph in the afternoon.
The current Fire Danger level across the forest 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: In Philipsburg, expect some morning haze until the inversion lifts which is expected around noon.
Evacuations: The Granite County Sheriff issued an EVACUATION notice for the FROG POND BASIN & COPPER CREEK CAMPGROUND areas. These areas and cabins are closed.
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.
The Moose Lake road #5106 and Ross Fork road #70 remain open to local traffic only.
Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR): A TFR encompasses the area over both fires. For more information http://tfr.faa.gov/