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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
Phone: 208-274-9674
Hours: Hours: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.

8/16/2021 Daily Update for West Lolo Complex (Thorne Creek Fire)

West Lolo Complex (Thorne Creek) Wildfire
News – 8/16/2021

 Thorne Creek Fire Statistics

  • Location: 5 miles NE of Thompson Falls
  • Date of Origin: 7/7/2021
  • Cause: Lightning
  • Acres: 32,087
  • Containment: 15%
  • Injuries: 5


  • Crews: 6                        
  • Dozers: 1
  • Engines: 16                   
  • Skidgens: 2                       
  • Helicopters: 5               
  • Feller Bunchers: 0               
  • Water Tenders: 12       
  • Masticator: 1
  • Personnel: 383   

NEW! Public Meeting Rescheduled: Tonight’s public meeting has been postponed until Wednesday August 18 at 5:30 p.m. due to the continued Red Flag Warning over the fire and increased fire activity. The location remains the same – Ainsworth Park in Thompson Falls. This meeting will be recorded and posted on YouTube and Facebook.

Summary: Overnight infrared (IR) mapping indicates the Thorne Creek Fire grew by 6,157 acres. Most of this growth is on the northern end of the fire and in the Thompson River Road area. The Incident Meteorologist has issued another Red Flag Warning until 9 p.m. tonight for the West Lolo Complex due to continued hot, dry, windy conditions. The fire is expected to produce significant smoke again today.   

The Southern Area Incident Management Gold Team is managing the West Lolo Complex under a full suppression strategy. The long-term approach remains unchanged—to contain the fire between previous fire footprints and natural barriers, while safely using low intensity firing and suppression tactics. Firefighter and public safety remain the top priority. The Thompson River Zone remains under an evacuation order issued by the Sanders County Sheriff on Aug. 12, 2021. 

The U.S. Forest Service ACM Road closure remains in effect due to increased fire activity.
Yesterday: In Division Zulu a helicopter and firefighters used tactical firing to remove unburned fuel between the fire’s edge and the control line above the intersection of Thompson River Road and Hwy. 200 and mopped up hot spots. This section of fireline is nearly complete. Division November experienced significant fire activity as stronger winds aligned with the Thompson River Drainage. The Structure Protection Group, assisted by two helicopters and local fire department engines, protected homes on the west side of Thompson River Road as fire backed down the slopes into the canyon. In Division Echo, fire progressed to Round Top Mountain, Liver Peak and to the east of Goat Creek. Firefighters defended structures with sprinklers and monitored fire activity overnight. In Division Charlie, the fire grew significantly to the east where resources monitored fire movement and continued mop up. 

Today: Division Zulu resources will continue patrolling and mopping up. They will also work with Division November and the Structure Protection Group in the Thompson River Corridor to defend residences, cool hot spots and mop up. In that area, sprinklers are running continuously to raise humidity and reduce fire spread. Six helicopters and an air attack aircraft are available for bucket drops and aerial ignition. In Division Echo firefighters will assess opportunities to reduce the spread of the fire to the north. In Division Charlie they will monitor the fire’s spread and intensity.
Evacuations: 85 residents remain under evacuation orders.

  • Evacuation Order: All residences in the Ashley and Thompson River Zones.
  • Pre-Evacuation/Warning: All residences in the Graves NE, Graves SE and Harlow Zones.

Color-coded evacuation maps are available on InciWeb and Facebook. The Gold Team is coordinating closely with local law enforcement and emergency management officials to return residents safely to their homes as soon as possible. 
Weather: Today will be hot, dry and windier than yesterday with gusts up to 28 mph. Relative humidity will be 15-20%. A cold front should bring cooler, moister air tomorrow.
Closures and Additional Information

  • The U.S. Forest Service ACM Road closure remains in effect due to increased fire activity.
  • The Thorne Creek Fire is a No Drone Zone! If you fly, we can’t! Visit
  • The Red Cross Shelter is available in Thompson Falls. If you need assistance, please call 800-272-6668.
  • Air quality and smoke monitoring information is available at
  • Temporary flight restrictions specific to Thorne Creek Fire:
  • Information Boards are located in Thompson Falls at Ainsworth Park, Harvest Foods, Wild Goose Landing, the intersection of Thompson River Road and Hwy. 200, and in Plains at the U.S. Forest Service Ranger District. Local businesses also are posting maps and updates and sharing information cards. 
  • KNOW BEFORE YOU GO! Forest closure information is available on InciWeb under the “Maps” and “Closures” tabs. 
  • STAGE 2 fire restrictions are in effect. Visit to learn more.
  • Ready, Set, GO! Wildland fire preparedness for ranchers and farmers can be found at
  • Residents can reduce wildfire risk by following Firewise building construction and vegetation management principles. Visit for more information.

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