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Liberty Fire

Unit Information

Flathead Agency
Bureau of Indian Affairs
PO Box 40 Pablo Montana 59855
Pablo, MT 59855

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Liberty Fire Update for August 11, 2017

Liberty Fire Wildfire
News – 8/11/2017

Confinement and Containment Lines Now 90% Complete – Let’s Do the Math

August 11, 2017 Morning Update

Acres: 4,231 acres (no infrared flight last night)
Start Date: July 15, 2017

Cause: Lightning
Origin Location: 17 miles SE of Arlee, Montana

Percent Contained or Completed: 90%
Fuels: Timber, forest litter, grass and shrubs

Total personnel: 288

Status of Line Miles . % Complete

Line Completed . 22 mi. 90%

Line to Finish . 2.5 mi. 10%

Total Line to Build . 24.5 mi. 100%

How has 90% completion been calculated for the Liberty Fire confinement and containment line? Due to inaccessible, remote and dangerous conditions facing firefighters in their effort to control the Liberty Fire, firefighters are employing a long-term confine and containment strategy. Crews have completed 3.5 miles of fire line directly on the fire’s edge and have extinguished all heat along this line making this section of the line contained. An additional 21 miles of line has been constructed away from the fire’s edge as a confinement line to check the fire’s growth where the fire may reach the line. Of the 24.5 miles of line needed to contain and confine the Liberty Fire 22 miles, or 90% is complete and 2.5 miles, or 10% of the line required to confine the fire is being improved before it is considered complete.

Confinement lines have been constructed on ridgelines, along existing road systems and at natural features such as streams where the firefighters have the advantage of time to construct lines with the highest probability of holding the fire. The remote Liberty Fire does not directly threaten residences and the portions of the fire’s perimeter that remain active are in the Rattlesnake Wilderness and the Primitive Area on the Flathead Reservation.

Crews are closing in on completing lines required to confine the Liberty Fire to Wilderness and Primitive Areas. Ninety percent of the direct and indirect fire lines necessary to confine the Liberty Fire are now complete. From here crews will monitor the fires progress toward these lines. The fire is being allowed to burn into the Rattlesnake Wilderness and may occasionally put up smoke as it burns through islands of heavier fuels.

Today firefighters will work towards completion of confinement lines. Firefighters will focus on enhancing lines south of Liberty Creek. Helicopters will be used as needed to cool down remaining hotspots along the fires perimeter. Suppression repair has begun on contingency lines including water bar construction to divert water flow off lines. Wilderness portions of the fire are now in a patrol and monitor status.

Thunderstorms are possible today over and near the fire area. Thunderstorms could cause erratic winds that may cause an increase in fire growth. Any growth would remain well within existing confinement lines.

No evacuation orders are in effect at this time. Out of caution the Evacuation Warning for the community of Placid Lake remains in effect. While there is minimal risk that the fire would reach Placid Lake, emergency managers would like residents to remain prepared should conditions change. The Liberty Fire has not moved east of its’ current positon at Boles Meadow since July 30th. The closest uncontrolled fire perimeter is more than 9 miles away from Placid Lake with 2 control lines now complete between the community and the fire. The primary control line is 1.9 miles east of the fire’s edge, with a secondary control lines now in place at 2.7 miles. The existing road system east of established controls provides an additional measure of protection to the community.

Fire Information: 406-272-4354 (8:00 am to 8:00 pm)

InciWeb: (Air Quality info, County Emergency Alert sign-up link, Firewise tips)

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