Winds Expected to Challenge Firefighters this Weekend
August 12, 2017 Morning Update
Acres: 4,919 acres (per infrared flight last night)
Start Date: July 15, 2017
Origin Location: 17 miles SE of Arlee, Montana
Percent Contained or Completed: 90%
Fuels: Timber, forest litter, grass and shrubs
Total personnel: 289
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%
A Red Flag Warning has been issued for the area through Sunday Evening. Yesterday the Liberty grew on the north side of Gold Creek towards Gold Creek Cabin where erratic winds from a passing thunderstorm pushed the fire. This growth was expected within the dense forest stands in this area, and is well within the confinement lines that are in place on the fire’s southeast flank. Structure protection measures have been put in place at Gold Creek Cabin.
Today the fire is expected to move east along the north side of Gold Creek toward completed confinement lines. Firefighters are prepared to hold the lines as the fire approaches the line over the next two days. As the fire approaches crews may use strategic firing operations to remove unburned fuel between the line and the main fire. Removal of unburned fuels ahead of the main fire adds depth to the containment lines and reduces the risk of spotting over the lines. Smoke columns from increased fire activity within confinement lines may be visible from surrounding areas.
A Red Flag Warning has been issued for the fire area between 2 PM Saturday and 9 PM on Sunday. Increased fire activity is expected due to low daytime and overnight humidity Saturday. Winds are expected to increase from the west between 15 to 25 mph by Sunday afternoon. Minimum humidity is expected to range from: 13 to 18 percent Saturday and 18 to 23 percent Sunday. Thunderstorms may impact the area Saturday night.
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.
Firefighters are working to limit the fire’s spread and protect values at risk where they can do so safely and effectively. These values include watersheds, sensitive cultural and natural resources, private inholdings and local communities, powerlines, air quality, and important recreation areas and wilderness areas.
Wildfires are a No Drone Zone. If you fly, we can’t. Every time a drone is spotted near the fire all aircraft are grounded until we can be sure the drone is clear of this area. More info visit Know Before You Fly, http://knowbeforeyoufly.org
Fire Information: 406-272-4354 (8:00 am to 8:00 pm)
InciWeb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5437/ (Air Quality info, County Emergency Alert sign-up link, Firewise tips)