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West Lolo Complex (Thorne Creek)

Unit Information

Lolo National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
24 Fort Missoula Road
Missoula, MT 59804

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Incident Contact

West Lolo Complex Fire Information
Email: 2021.westlolo@firenet.gov
Phone: 208-274-9674
Hours: Hours: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.

West Lolo Complex Daily Update, Wednesday, August 11

West Lolo Complex (Thorne Creek) Wildfire
News – 8/11/2021

West Lolo Complex (Thorne Creek Fire)

Lolo National Forest

Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 1

Mike Goicoechea, Incident Commander

August 11, 2021


Contact Information

Thorne Creek Fire Statistics

  • Location: 5 miles NE of Thompson Falls
  • Date of Origin: 7/7/2021
  • Cause: Lightning
  • Acres: 22,739
  • Containment: 15%
  • Injuries: 4

Resources

  • Crews: 4                        
  • Dozers: 1
  • Engines: 17                    
  • Skidgens: 2                      
  • Helicopters: 4             
  • Feller Bunchers: 0              
  • Water Tenders: 11      
  • Masticator: 1
  • Personnel: 405   


There will be a community meeting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, August 12, in the pavilion at Ainsworth Park, 200 Lincoln Street, Thompson Falls, MT.

Summary: Higher temperatures and lower humidity levels combined with gusty winds to increase fire activity in the upper portions of the Ashley Creek drainage on Tuesday. The main body of fire responded to the fire weather conditions by moving across the bottom of the drainage and spread onto the northern slope. Once the smoke lifts late this morning, fire managers will assess the status of the Ashley creek drainage.  Crews continue to patrol and monitor fire activity in areas that have been contained while other fire personnel are conducting mop up operations along the west perimeter of the fire.

Yesterday: Fire activity increased in the upper portions of the Ashley Creek drainage leading to an increase in smoke production. Heavy equipment was used to thin vegetation in the bottom of the drainage to improve Ashley Creek Road as a possible check line in Division November. Personnel in Divisions Echo and Juliet scouted to identify potential control lines and began improving established roads from Liver Ridge to Goat Lake. Divisions Charlie and Zulu are being monitored for fire activity and crews conducting mop up operations are finding almost no heat within 100-feet of the control lines.

Today: In Division November, firefighter will assess the fire spread in the upper areas of the Ashley Creek drainage to determine the level of firing operations firing operations that will be needed between Ashley Creek and the Thompson River. Firefighters will monitor fire activity in Divisions Charlie and Zulu as structure protection personnel remove equipment that is no longer needed. With control lines completed in Divisions Echo and Juliet, fire personnel will be scouting to identify potential alternate control line locations and control features that could slow fire spread between Goat Lake and Liver Ridge.   

Weather:  Temperatures will continue to climb with high temperatures in the 80’s on the fire and humidity levels dropping into the twenties. Winds will be gusty this morning, 15 to 25 m.p.h., but are expected to calm heading into the afternoon and evening. Temperatures are expected to continue to warm with decreasing humidity levels through the end of the week.

Evacuations:

  • Evac Order: all residences in the Harlow and Ashley zones.
  • Pre-Evac/Warning: all residences in the Graves NE and Graves SE zones.

The color-coded evacuation maps are located on InciWeb and Facebook. The team is coordinating closely with local law enforcement and emergency management officials with the goal of returning residents home as soon as it is safe to do so.

Closures and Additional Information:

  • The Red Cross Shelter in Thompson Falls has gone to standby status. If you need assistance, please call 800-272-6668.
  • Air quality and smoke monitoring can be found at https://sites.google.com/firenet.gov/wfaqrp-airfire-tools/
  • Temporary flight restrictions specific to Thorne Creek Fire: tfr.faa.gov
  • Information Sign Boards are located at Ainsworth Park, Harvest Foods, and Wild Goose Landing in Thompson Falls, and the U.S. Forest Service Ranger District in Plains. Local businesses are assisting with information dissemination by posting maps and updates and sharing information cards.
  • KNOW BEFORE YOU GO! Forest closure information can be found on InciWeb under the “Maps” and “Closures” tabs.
  • STAGE 2 fire restrictions are in effect; visit mtfireinfo.org to learn more about local fire restrictions.
  • Ready, Set, GO! wildland fire preparedness for ranchers and farmers can be found at dnrc.mt.gov.
  • Residents can reduce wildfire risk by following Firewise building construction and vegetation management principles. Visit Firewise.org for more information.
  • No Drone Zone! If you fly, we can’t! Visit knowbeforeyoufly.org

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