Whetstone Ridge Fire News Release

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Whetstone Ridge Fire News Release

Fire Update - August 3, 2017

Incident: Whetstone Ridge Fire Wildfire
Released: 8/3/2017

August 3, 2017, 9:00a.m. For Immediate Release

(406) 859-9107

Facts at a Glance

Size: Meyers: 11,882 acres

Date Started: July 13-14, 2017

Percent Containment: 0%

Personnel: 469 which includes 4 Type 1 (Hot Shot) crews, 6 Type 2 hand crews, and additional support personnel

Equipment: 11 engines, 13 pieces of heavy equipment including dozers, water tenders, skidgines, chippers, masticators, and feller-buncher,

Cause: Lightning

Aircraft Assigned: 3 Type 2 and 2 Type 3 Helicopters; additional air resources available from Hamilton, MT and the Sapphire Complex

Cooperating Agencies: Granite County Sheriff’s Office, Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office

The Whetstone Ridge and Meyers fires grew together on Tuesday and as of today are designated as the Meyers Fire.

The fire is located 25 miles southwest of Philipsburg, Montana. The fire is 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 fire on 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_21-17.59.34.618-CDT.pdf The Ross Fork road #70 remain open to local traffic only.

The Granite County Sheriff issued EVACUATION notices for the FROG POND BASIN, COPPER CREEK CAMPGROUND areas, and the MOOSE LAKE area. These areas are closed for public health and safety due to wildfire and firefighter activity.

The critical fire weather 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 weather. Weather today is expected to be cooler like yesterday with north northwest winds. No structures were lost.

Crews also continued to construct and improve lines to the north and east of both fires. Crews will continue 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 attack 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 fire line to the east, near road #5106.

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: Philipsburg and the surrounding area residents should expect patchy smoke in the morning and a mostly sunny afternoon.

Evacuations: The Granite County Sheriff issued EVACUATION notices for the FROG POND BASIN, COPPER CREEK CAMPGROUND areas, and the MOOSE LAKE area. These areas are closed for public health and safety due to wildfire.

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 Ross Fork road #70 remains open to local traffic only.

Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR): A TFR encompasses the area over both fires. For more information http://tfr.faa.gov/

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Unit Information

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Beaverhead/Deerlodge National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
420 Barrett St
Dillon, MT 59725
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Email: meyerswhetstone@gmail.com
Phone: 406-859-9107

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