Helena - Lewis and Clark National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
2880 Skyway Drive Helena Montana 59602
Helena, MT 59602
Crucifixion Creek, Strawberry Creek, & Scalp Fires
Rocky Mountain Ranger District
Monday, September 11, 2017
Contact: Rocky Mountain Ranger District, 406-466-5341
Media Contact: Duane Buchi, (406) 750-8934
Location: CRUCIFIXION CREEK Approximately 10 miles southwest of Heart Butte, in the Badger-Two Medicine area; STRAWBERRY CREEK—Approximately 1.5 miles southwest of the inlet to Swift Reservoir, outside of Dupuyer; SCALP—Approximately 7 miles due west of Teton Pass Ski Area.
Fire Management: These fires are managed by a Type-3 Incident Management Team with a confine and contain strategy due to their remote location, fire/fuel break from recent fire events, and limited availability of ground/aerial resources resulting from a large number of fires throughout the western States. The team is based in Choteau, MT. A long-term management plan is in effect for coordination of management actions for each fire’s likely long duration. As a preplanning effort, A Joint Delegation Letter involving Forest Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs Blackfeet Agency, Blackfeet Tribe, Blackfeet Tribal Policy, Montana Department of Natural Resources, and the County Sherriff for Glacier, Pondera, and Teton Counties is in coordination.
Crucifixion Creek Fire Update (9,688 Acres): The crew at Badger Cabin focused on ongoing area reinforcement and the reinstallation of pumps and hose lays should they again be needed. They've run the sprinkler on the area each night directly around the cabin to ensure smoldering embers won't flare up under the dry windy conditions they've experienced. Crews also are routinely traveling to vantage points to monitor changes in the fire behavior and perimeter acreage.
Strawberry Creek Fire Update (4,913 Acres): Helicopters dropped water on the eastern portion of the fire cooling the edge yesterday afternoon. The fire is currently hung up to the southwest of Mount Richmond on the western slope of Mount Sentinel, to the north of the Middle Fork of Birch Creek. It's about 1.5 miles from the inlet to Swift Reservoir. As of 9:00am this morning, the following resources are on site supporting firefighting efforts: 5 engines, 5 dozers, 2 helicopters, and 1 hotshot crew. 1 more 20-person crew and 5 engines are ordered and expected within the next 24 hours. A night shift engine is patrolling the Swift Dam area. The five dozers are staged at Swift Dam and the equipment operators are staged for a quick response if called during the night. The Chief Mountain Hotshots from the BIA Blackfeet Agency are on scene and again today conducting recon on how to best tie a control line into the reservoir to keep the fire from coming off of the forest. The day-shift engine crews made public contacts with area residents/ranches, located existing roads for potential use as control lines, and are conducting structure assessments today in preparation for any contingencies.
Scalp Fire Update (9,688 Acres): On the Flathead National Forest, The Scalp Fire continues to move down Park Creek toward to confluence of Bowl and Strawberry Creeks. It is also working around Mount May. To the west, the fire is slowly moving uphill towards Dean Lake and the Trilobite Range. Minimal growth occurred to the northeast with the frontal passage Saturday evening. Crews continue to monitor the fire from Gooseberry and Wrong Creek Cabins. On the east side the fire is currently in the confluence of the Fool and Open Creeks which form the headwaters of the North Fork of the Sun River.
Heart Butte Air Quality: Air quality east of the continental divide is generally moderate today. A smoke monitor is in place at Heart Butte, and information can be accessed through this site: https://wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/smoke.pl. Click on the red location bubble that is numbered #3015 for information on the Heart Butte area. This data is time delayed by 6 hours.
Weather: A RED FLAG WARNING remains in effect until 9 p.m. Monday night. Low humidity and breezy west winds are expected across North Central MT today to include the Rocky Mountain Front. A wind shift to the north is expected Wednesday afternoon with higher humidity starting Wednesday night. The extended forecast calls for widespread rain and high mountain snow is expected to develop Thursday, with periods of precipitation Thursday night through Friday.
Public Meeting Schedule:
Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at 6 p.m. in the Heart Butte School-Multi-Purpose Room Thursday, September 14, 2017 at 6 p.m. in the Dupuyer Community Hall
Additional Information: A NEW PUBLIC AUTOMATED INFORMATION LINE was established for Alice Creek, Park Creek, Crucifixion Creek, Strawberry Creek, Scalp, & Rice Ridge Fires. This number is (406) 495-3767. It will connect you with the latest information on Forest area closures, fire information contacts, and even who you could call if you wanted to make a donation to volunteer firefighters.