Fire Update, 9/3
Incident: Caribou Fire Wildfire
Fire Information Line: 406-272-2082
Location: Gibralter Ridge Fire is located seven miles east of Eureka, MT Current Size: 6,785 Acres
Cause: Lightning Containment: 27% Personnel: 81
Email: GibralterRidgeFire2017@gmail.com Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5474/
Location: Caribou Fire is located 21 miles northwest of Eureka, MT Current Size: 13,767 Acres
Cause: Lightning Containment: 0% Personnel: 137
Extreme Fire Behavior Causes Full Evacuation of West Kootenia, Unknown Number of Structures Lost.
Weather: RED FLAG FIRE WEATHER WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT TODAY. Dry, hot weather, gusty southwest winds, extreme fire behavior in advance of cold front. Gusty northeast winds follow front passage.
Caribou Fire: Yesterday, the fire doubled in size with a four mile run northeast. A full evacuation order for the West Kootenia area. An unknown number of structures were lost to the fire during the evening and overnight. Heavy equipment and firefighters worked late into the night to build fireline adjacent to structures in front of the fires’ advance.
Today, Lincoln County Sheriff's Department is assessing the West Kootenia area where structures burned last night and notifying property owners. Heavy equipment and firefighters are building firelines in the area for point protection of structures. Heavy equipment will work on the west and north sides of the fire to strengthen firelines in preparation for an expected cold front and winds shifting to the northeast overnight.
Pearson’s Team and the Canadian fire managers are working in close coordination with fire-line implementation and population evacuation planning as the fire continues to move north and northeast.
With the limited resources available, fire managers are strategically implementing actions where they would be most effective. Firefighters will disengage if conditions compromise their safety.
Caribou Evacuations: Full Evacuation Order for all areas in West Kootenai (issued September 2, 2017 at 6:10 pm).
Caribou Fire Closures:. A new Closure order encompassing a larger area is in place for the Caribou Fire. Closure Orders and maps under the “Closures” tab on Inciweb.
Gibralter Ridge Fire:. Yesterday, a helicopter dropped water on the ridge north of Williams Creek to slow fire progression. Heavy equipment worked in Williams Creek to slow the fire backing down into the creek area. Wam Lookout was wrapped for fire protection. Today crews will continue to mop-up, patrol and monitor the west, south and east sides of the fire.
Gibralter Ridge Evacuations: The Lincoln County Sheriff and the IMT evaluate the need for evacuations on a daily basis. A Pre-Evacuation Warning remains in effect for the Sherman Creek, Griffith Creek, Therriault Pass Road, Stevens Creek, Glen Lake and Sinclair Creek (south/east of West Road) areas.
Gibralter Ridge Closures: Grave Creek Road and the Ten Lakes Recreation area are closed above the Grave Creek/Foothills Road junction. Closure orders and maps under the “Closures” tab on Inciweb.
Resources Threatened for both fires: Private property, structures, historic resources, recreational resources, timber, terrestrial and aquatic habitats and fall hunting.
Fire Restrictions: Lincoln County and the Kootenai National Forest are in Stage II Fire Restrictions due to Extreme Fire Danger. For information on fire restrictions, please visit firerestrictions.us