Flathead National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
650 Wolfpack Way
Kalispell, MT 59901
Crucifixion Creek, Strawberry, & Scalp Fires - Rocky Mountain Ranger District
Sunday, September 10, 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 Swift Dam, outside of Dupuyer; SCALP—Approximately 7 miles due west of Teton Pass Ski Area.
Fire Management & Activity: 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.
Crucifixion Creek Fire Update (8,191 Acres): An acreage update for today was not available this morning. A new crew with resupply was inserted at Badger Cabin yesterday. There was minimal growth, mostly onto Elbow Mountain. Aviation resources were unable to fly additional sorties due to high winds and visibility that worsened throughout the afternoon.
Strawberry Creek Fire Update (1,554 Acres): The fire made a significant, wind-driven run to the east in the early hours this morning and is currently up to the west side of Mt Richmond, about 1 mile from Swift Reservoir. Fire personnel activated preplanned management actions to include notification of the Pondera and Teton County Sherriff, DNRC, Bureau of Indian Affairs and other local cooperators. Weather permitting, helicopters are generating for a recon flight as this is being published to put eyes on the fires edge this morning. 5 dozers and 3 engines are enroute to Swift Dam and 5 additional engines and heli-attack were ordered and expected. The team is also requesting additional air resources as are other area fire teams today.
Scalp Fire Update (11,741 Acres): The fire is backing in Park Creek in the 2007 Fool Creek Fire perimeter. It is also backing toward Open Creek with some spotting north of Seven-up Creek. Structure protection is in place at Gooseberry Cabin and crews continue to monitor the fire. Structure protection at Wrong Creek on the Helena-Lewis and Clark is ongoing.
Heart Butte Air Quality: A forecast was not available today. However, a smoke monitor is in place for the Heart Butte community. 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. Please note, this data is time delayed by 6 hours.
Weather: RED FLAG WARNING is in effect from noon today to 8pm this evening for gusty winds and low humidity. Critical fire weather conditions are expected for much of central Montana this afternoon due to gusty winds and low relative humidity. Gusty winds may continue into Monday, especially western sections of central MT and at least elevated fire weather concerns are expected then. Confidence is increasing in cooler/wetter conditions later this week.
Public Meeting: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at 6 p.m. at the Heart Butte School-Multi-Purpose Room
Additional Information: The Swift Dam Campground west of Dupuyer is closed. An area closure around all three fires is in effect for public safety on the Flathead and Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forests.