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Park Creek Fire

Unit Information

Helena - Lewis and Clark National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
2880 Skyway Drive Helena Montana 59602
Helena, MT 59602

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Park Creek morning update for July 22

Park Creek Fire Wildfire
News – 7/22/2017

July 22, 2017 9:00 am

Phone: 406-370-2144 or 406-422-2615

DATE OF DETECTION: Friday, July 14, 2017

CAUSE: Lightning

CURRENT SIZE: 2,802 acres (updated from early morning infra-red detection flight)


LOCATION: Two miles north of Lincoln, MT

JURISDICTION: Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest, Lincoln Ranger District

COOPERATING AGENCIES: Lewis & Clark County, Montana DNRC, Lincoln Fire Rescue

PERSONNEL AND RESOURCES ON THE FIRE:Resources assigned to the fire include three 20-person crews, 12 engines, heavy equipment, and three helicopters. Total personnel working on the incident is 218. Support from additional aircraft and local fire engines is available, as needed. Additional resources continue to arrive.

YESTERDAY’S ACTIVITY: The fire continued to be active in the large dead and downed logs and pockets of bug-killed trees, including along the thermal belt at mid-elevation during the nighttime hours. Gusty winds and low relative humidity associated with the continued passage of the cold front resulted in active fire behavior in the afternoon, with short crown runs, uphill runs and short-range spotting. A few smaller columns of smoke were visible in the Liverpool and Yukon drainages. Helicopters cooled hot spots in the upper Sucker Creek drainage with water bucket drops. Structure assessments are complete, and the handline in Park Creek is plumbed with a hose lay and pumps. Heavy equipment cleaned up and removed slash material from the fuel break operation.

TODAY’S WEATHER: A high pressure system is building over the area. Temperatures will be warmer, and the relative humidity will remain low. Winds will be lighter, with gusts to 15 mph. Fire behavior analysts and weather specialists are monitoring current weather conditions by capturing real-time data from six weather stations across the fire area. Thunderstorms may begin on Sunday.

TODAY’S PLANNED ACTIVITY: Crews and heavy equipment will improve the constructed fuel break and remove all residual slash along the southern edge of the fire, working westward along the Park Creek Road to the Beaver Creek Road. Helicopters are available for water drops when needed. Additional resources will be assigned, as they arrive.

SPECIAL CONCERNS: Steep rugged terrain, large dead fuels and numerous snags are the primary safety concerns for fire crews. Fuels available to burn are still green but are expected to dry and cure in the coming weeks. Smoke settling in the valleys due to the early morning inversions affects public health and reduces visibility along highways. Individuals should limit exposure and activity in the morning hours when smoke is heaviest, and travelers should turn on headlights and slow down. There is a temporary flight restriction (TFR) over the fire area (five mile radius around Stonewall Mountain and to 10,000 feet in elevation).

CLOSURES: Temporary area, trail and road closures are in place to provide for public safety during the fire. Please adhere to these closures to ensure everyone’s safety. A map of the closure area is posted on Inciweb at the link below.

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