Lolo Peak Fire Information Briefing: Monday, August 14, @ 7:00 p.m., Lolo Public School (Upper Gym), 11395 Hwy 93, South Lolo, MT.
Weather and fire behavior: Red Flag Warning for the fire zone that includes the Lolo Peak fire remains in effect today through 9:00 p.m. A dry cold front will pass over the fire this afternoon, with a 50-percent chance of thunderstorms. New ignitions are possible with lightning. Winds will be from the southwest 15 to 25-mph with gusts to 35 mph. Max temperatures will be cooler than the past week due to the cold front, with 72 to 76 along ridges and 80 to 85 in the valleys. Minimum relative humidity will be 20 to 25-percent today. With the passage of today’s cold front, fire behavior is expected to further increase in intensity. Some crown fire is possible where wind, terrain and vegetation align as well as torching of individual trees and groups of trees. Embers could create spot fires up to 1/2 mile from main fire perimeter.
Yesterday: The fire exhibited the most active behavior over the past two weeks, crossing in a new location to the west side of the South Fork of Lolo Creek, burning past Forest Service Road 4292, and approaching within a mile of Elk Meadows Road. Firefighters slowed further spread in the area with helicopters dropping fire retardant and water. Crews are monitoring the fire perimeter while maintaining pumps, hoses and sprinklers to ensure they will be ready to protect homes and reinforce the fire line, if needed.
Today: Firefighters are paying close attention to the forecasted high winds today. We will continue to use retardant in combination with establishing check lines to slow or prevent rapid fire growth to the northeast. Firefighters are prepared to join members of rural structure protection resources if needed should fire near homes and structures along U.S. 12 and the town of Lolo. Structure assessments remain ongoing. We continue to improve containment lines and test water systems. A night shift will continue to patrol the Highway 12 corridor and adjacent roads overnight.
We are coordinating closely with our cooperators, including the Missoula County Sheriff, Missoula Rural Fire District, and Missoula County Office of Emergency Management, with detailed plans in the event that evacuations are necessary.
Evacuations/Closure Information: No Evacuation Orders are in effect. An expanded Evacuation Warning now runs on both the north and south sides of Highway 12 from Fort Fizzle west to Mile Post 20 at Bear Creek, which includes the Mill Creek Road and Elk Meadows Road areas. This is not an order to evacuate, only a warning so citizens can prepare should evacuations become necessary. For further information call 258-INFO (4636).
Highway 12 remains open. Please do not stop along the road to view fire activity as it creates a traffic hazard.