Lolo Peak Fire Update
Tuesday, August 1, 2017, 8:00 am
Northern Rockies Incident Management Team
Greg Poncin, Incident Commander
Fire Information: (406) 272-5433 Hours:
(406) 273-8316 7am – 9pm
Interactive Fire Map: http://tinyurl.com/yacsw2cv
Location:Ten miles southwest of Lolo.
A Red Flag Warning has been issue for the Lolo Peak Fire area from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm today.
Highway 12 remains open. Please stop by the Firewise trailer, located on the eastside of the intersection of Hwy 12 and Hwy 93 or the Florence-Carlton School for current information.
A Public Meeting is scheduled for 7:00 pm Thursday, August 3rdat the Florence Baptist Church.
A temporary flight restriction is in place surrounding the fire. This restriction includes “drones” or unmanned aerial vehicles. If drones are detected, air operations will stop.The public is reminded that “If you fly, we can’t!”
Weather and fire behavior: Temperatures will be in the mid-90s. Tonight through Wednesday morning a front is expected to move through the fire area. Ahead of this front the wind, possibly with gusts to 30 mph, is expected to produce active fire behavior especially in the Lantern Creek, South Fork Lolo Creek and Dick Creek drainages. After frontal passage, winds are expected to turn northeasterly until Friday when winds return to a westerly flow.
Yesterday: A clear sunny day with temperatures in the low 90s made for an active fire day on Monday. The fire on the east side of the South Fork Lolo Creek, where it intersects with Lantern Creek, pushed to the top of the ridge in the afternoon. No spots have been detected over the ridge. On the west side of South Fork Lolo Creek near the ridge line the fire made a one mile run north towards Dick Creek. Aerial ignition was again used on the southern perimeter to limit fire spread to the south. The heavy equipment resources in the Highway 93 corridor reached near completion on the primary control line while firefighters scouted alternate lines.
Today: Retardant will continue to be used to limit the fire’s spread west. Aerial ignition will be evaluated for use on both the east and west side of South Fork Lolo Creek to limit southern growth and keep the fire west of the Bitterroot divide. Crews have completed 25.5 miles of control line between the fire and homes, along the Highway 12 and Hwy 93 corridors. Alternate lines are being identified and constructed. Excavators, wood chippers, and dump trucks will work removing slash piles next to the control line. Firefighters and heavy equipment will work west of the fire along the Elk Meadows Road.
Stage II Fire Restrictions are in effect for Missoula and Ravalli Counties and across the Lolo and Bitterroot National Forests.
Closures: The Area Closure was Amended, on July 27, 2017 for the Lolo Peak Fire and now includes the following roads and trails as well as those encompassed by the area closure intersecting with open roads and trails; Elk Meadow Road (NFSR #451) from Junction US Hwy 12 to the Clearwater National Forest Boundary, West Fork Butte Road (NFSR #37 ) from the West Fork Butte Lookout to the intersection with the Elk Meadow Road (NFSR #451), Mormon Peak Road (NFSR #612), South Fork Lolo Creek Road (NFSR #2160), Small Creek Road (NFSR #4292), West Fork Butte Trail (NFST #320), Mill Creek Trail (NFST #1310), Sweeney Trail (NFST #393), and Bass Creek Trail (NFST #4). For specific road, trail and area closure information please visit the Inciweb website.
The fire is under the jurisdiction of the Lolo and Bitterroot National Forests and the Montana Department of Natural Resources (MTDNRC).
Missoula County residents can receive emergency notifications of critical alerts via their choice of text, phone and/or email by signing up at Smart911.com. Residents in Ravalli County can download the Ravalli County Sheriff’s app to their mobile devices to receive critical information notifications.
Is your home fire-safe? While nothing is ever fire-proof, there are some things you can do to protect your home and community now. Here are just a few actions you can take:
Clean out gutters, sweep decks and clean off your roof. These places can catch wind-driven embers that will ignite your home.
· Remove leaf clutter and branches overhanging the roof. Vegetation should not touch the home.
· Make sure that there are no flammable materials within 3 to 5 feet around the building.
· Dispose of plant debris according to local regulations.
· Keep your grass cut short and well-watered within a 30 foot radius of structures.
· Store firewood away from the house.
· Organize a neighborhood cleanup day. By helping your entire community, you’ll be providing better protection to yourself.
· Helpful Links:
ü Fire Safe Montana: http://firesafemt.org/
ü FireWise Communities: http://www.firewise.org/?sso=0
Cooperators: Stevensville, Ravalli & Missoula County Government; Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office; Missoula County Sheriff’s Office; Lolo School District; Missoula Rural Fire; Florence VFD; MDOT; Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks; Carlton and Bass Lake Irrigation; Florence – Carlton School District; Ravalli and Missoula County DES; Private Landowners