Liberty Fire Update September 16
Incident: Liberty Fire Wildfire
Liberty Fire Update
Saturday, September 16, 2017, 8:30 am
Northern Rockies Incident Management Team
Greg Poncin, Incident Commander
Fire Information: 406-813-0527, 8 am – 8 pm (Please note # change)
Location: 17 miles SE of Arlee, Montana in the South Fork Primitive Area
After today, information will be provided for the Liberty fire in the Rice Ridge fire update and this will be the last individual update for the Liberty fire. The Incident Command Post (ICP) at Arlee is consolidating and moving to the Rice Ridge ICP in Seeley Lake. The Northern Rockies Incident Management Team would like to thank the community of Arlee and residents in surrounding areas for their hospitality and support.
Yesterday’s Accomplishments: Firefighters once again took advantage of the cool, rainy weather and monitored and patrolled the fire perimeter for hot spots. Crews looked for opportunities to skid and deck woody debris generated from line prep construction across the northern edge of the fire from the Jocko Lookout to the Jocko Tribal Primitive Area. It was slow and steady as more mop up was completed in the Second Creek drainage. Fire crews took the opportunity to remove heavy equipment, pumps, hose, and miscellaneous equipment that is no longer needed on the fire line.
Today’s Planned Actions: Crews will continue to take advantage of the cool weather to skid and deck woody debris generated from line prep construction and look for opportunities to burn brush piles collected and placed in safety zones along Crazy Fish Road. Sawyers will remove dangerous snags before firefighters can continue mop up in the Second Creek Drainage. Across the remainder of the fire crews will continue to patrol, monitor, and mop up any heat they find along the line. Crews will also continue removing heavy equipment, pumps, miles of hose, and miscellaneous equipment that is no longer needed on the fire, but may be needed elsewhere as the fire season continues.
Weather and Fire Behavior: The light rain and snow will end early this morning with skies becoming mostly cloudy this afternoon. A ridge of high pressure will move over the area today bringing slightly warmer temperatures this afternoon. The ridge will continue to prevail over the area through Sunday. A second, cold front from the west will move over the Northern Rockies early next week, with another good chance of wetting rains through Wednesday.
Air Operations: There were no flights over the fire Friday. Today is the final day the type 3 helicopter assigned to the fire is available for this incident and for initial attack. A temporary flight restriction is also lifted for the fire area.
Closures: An area closure is in place for public health and safety due to wildfire. The closure area begins on the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) reservation Boundary line and continues east following the CSKT Boundary along the Middle Fork of Jocko River and Jocko Lake turning southwest; then heading East and southeast crossing Second Creek, Grouse Creek, Buck Creek and Finley Creek; then south to Boles Creek. Continuing due east to Vaughn Creek, then due south crossing North Fork Blanchard Creek, Cold Brook and Blanchard Creek; continuing west crossing Belmont Creek and Gold Creek then turning northwest crossing Spring Creek, West Fork Gold Creek, next to and including Boulder Lake, Wapiti Lake and Crazy Fish Lake; heading north on a straight line until it intersects with the point of beginning.
All trails and roads that are within, and those that make up the boundaries to this area closure, are closed due to the Liberty fire. The South Fork Primitive area of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes is closed.
Evacuations: Currently, there are no evacuation warnings or orders.
The fire is under the jurisdiction of Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Montana Department of Natural Resources (DNRC), and Lolo National Forest.
Cooperating Agencies: Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Lake County Office of Emergency Management, Lake County Office of Emergency Services, Missoula County and Seeley Lake Fire, and The Nature Conservancy.