Bureau of Indian Affairs
PO Box 40 Pablo Montana 59855
Pablo, MT 59855
Liberty Fire Update, September 1, 2017
Inciweb address: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5437/
Start Date: July 15, 2017 Origin Location: 17 miles SE of Arlee, Montana
Cause: Lightning Fuels: Timber, forest litter, grass & shrubs
Acres: 15,319 acres Percent Contained: 22%
Fire Information: (406)272-4354 (8:00 am to 8:00 pm)
Yesterday: Hot and dry conditions persisted even in the face of predicted cooler conditions, as well as being under Red Flag wind warnings, and that set the scene for a day of cautious operations on the Liberty fire. Winds blew an average of 20-25 mph when the cold front moved through. Air resources were able to get up and drop water where needed during the morning; however, incident aircraft were grounded by midday when winds increased to dangerous conditions.
After a week of little action, Divisions Alpha (SW) in the Rattlesnake Wilderness Area, saw more burn activity, which has proven perplexing as the fire is actually backing uphill in steep areas against the wind and that may continue so long as there are heavy fuels in those areas. Opposingly, where there has been so much fire activity for the last few days, Division Mike, Tango and Uniform are experiencing less heat, so mop up work in those areas progressed.
On the North side, the BAER team hydrologists actively assessed the area for restoration needs. The containment line on the East side was secure, although interior fuels were actively burning. The Suppression Repair crew continued chipping along Jocko dip road. On the South side crews continued to monitor and hold the dozer line into the Mineral-Primm Fire scar. Crews completed two and a half miles of the hose lay on the Southeast corner, and worked to chain in from the indirect containment line.
Today: Cleaner, clearer air is predicted for air ops today. The BAER Team will continue conducting their evaluations for restoration requirements. Firefighters will again carry on with holding, mop up, and improving the fireline on the East side of the fire, preparing it for a small planned burnout, if possible. The Suppression Repair crew will also be carrying on with chipping along roadway.
Firefighters will hold and secure the containment line from the Southernmost point of the fire to the Northwest into Gold Creek drainage, increasing line depth with firing operations if possible.
At the Tango/Uniform break, a firing operation is planned. The relatively slow-moving Southern portion of the fire is predicted to be down to Liberty Creek by tomorrow.
Resources on the Fire: 5 20-person crews, 11 engines, 6 bulldozers, 7 skidgines, 8 water tenders, Total: 435
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. For more information visit Know Before You Fly, https://knowbeforeyoufly.org
For more information on Lolo National Forest fires, check Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/lolonationalforest/