Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation
Missoula, MT 59804
The Blaine County public meeting will be at the Bear Paw School on
Wednesday, September 6, at 4 p.m.
Yesterday: Firefighters were successful in locating and extinguishing hotspots in the Clear Creek and southern Little Box Elder Creek areas. The fire line in these areas are now contained. While firefighters continue to make good progress, heat still remains in the heavy fuels of the Little Box Elder Canyon and the timber stringers along the canyon. Helicopter water drops were used to help extinguish hot spots in areas where heavy fuels are still smoldering. The remaining portions of the fire perimeter are now contained and are being patrolled and improved. Firefighters continued working to insure hotspots in Mooney Coulee have been extinguished. Suppression repair continued along the fire line where containment has been achieved. Night shift patrolled the fire line to insure the fire stayed within containment lines.
Actions Planned: Firefighters will continue working in Little Box Elder Canyon where heavy fuels continue to hold heat. Crews are nearing completion of fireline on the fire’s southwestern corner and Miner’s Gulch areas. In Mooney Coulee crews will continue mopping up near structures as needed. The remaining portions of the fire perimeter are contained and will be patrolled and improved. Suppression repair will continue along the fire line where containment has been achieved. Even as fire containment is increasing, smoke may be seen from unburned pockets of fuels burning in the interior of the fire. These unburned pockets are no threat to the fire perimeter.
Closures: The Hill County Sheriff’s Department has lifted the evacuation order on Sucker Creek Road and Taylor Roads allowing property owners to return to these areas. Sucker Creek Road has been opened to local residents; the public is urged to stay out of the area due to heavy equipment and emergency personnel still working in the area. Highway 234 will remain closed from Taylor Road south. Beaver Creek Park and all side roads within the park remain closed to recreation.
Background: The East Fork Fire started on August 27, 2017; the cause is under investigation. It is on private lands in Blaine County, Hill County and on the Rocky Boy Reservation, south of Havre, Montana. The state of Montana also has land within the fire area as well as a small piece of Bureau of Land Management land.
Weather: Following the predicted trend for the week, today will continue to be dry and warm. Temperatures are expected to be in the low 80s with winds from the ESE at 8 to 12 mph gusting to 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon. Relative humidity is expected to drop to 10% to 15%.