Kootenai National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
31374 US Hwy 2
Libby, MT 59923
Gibralter Ridge Fire
August 26, 2017
Fire Information (406) 272-2082
Incident: Lightning caused fire, seven miles east of Eureka, MT
Incident Command: RJ McDole, Incident Commander, and Jason Sunell, Incident Commander Trainee, Type 3 Incident Management Team
Current Size: 5,000 acres estimate
Current Resources: Crews: 1, Engines: 12, Helicopters: 1, Dozers: 1, Water Tenders: 3, Total Personnel: 100
The Gibralter Ridge Fire made a major run on Thursday (8/24), moving north and east carried by strong southwest winds. The fire spotted across the ridges to the north, growing about 1,500 acres to Mount Scotty and the adjoining ridge. It did not cross Grave Creek Road to the east; Grave Creek Road is an effective fuel break on the northeast flank.
A ridge of high pressure will begin to build over the area that will bring warm and dry conditions today. Winds should be light, mostly terrain driven, causing up valley winds during the day and downslope winds at night. A strong thermal belt will establish tonight especially higher on the slopes causing low humidity recovery. Fire activity may pick up a little today and tonight. The north east flank will continue to back down the steep slope to the Grave Creek Road. Short uphill runs will occur when hot fuels roll down the unburned slopes. Group tree and individual tree torching will occur and heavy fuels will continue to burn especially with the hot, dry weather.
Today, firefighters will be clearing brush along the fire line to improve the shaded fuel break along the Foothills and Grave Creek Road. Mop-up continues along the entire boundary, extinguishing heat within 100 feet inside the fire line. A spot fire burning in a large log was found yesterday across Grave Creek Road to the east, north of Williams Creek. Helicopter water drops cooled the spot fire which will be monitored today and cooled as needed. Fire fighters will diligently observe this west facing ridge for other spots to flare up; water drops will be used to keep these in check. Water pumps have been installed as a precautionary measure to protect historic bridges in the area.
Evacuations: An Evacuation Warning remains in effect for the Sherman Creek, Griffith Creek, Therriault Pass Road, and Stevens Creek areas. A Pre-Evacuation Warning remains in effect for the Glen Lake and Sinclair Creek (south/east of West Road) area. Residents are reminded to be prepared with a plan for evacuation including what you need to bring with you in the event of an evacuation.
Closures: Grave Creek Road and the Ten Lakes recreation area remain closed to the public beginning at the junction of Grave Creek and Foothills Roads. Recreationists must observe these closures for their own safety and the safety of firefighters using the roads.
Due to the high fire danger, Lincoln County remains in Stage II Fire Restrictions.