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Granite Pass Complex

Unit Information

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

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Granite Pass Complex Daily Update, Wednesday, August 11

Granite Pass Complex Wildfire
News – 8/11/2021

Granite Pass Complex

Lolo National Forest

Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests

Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 1

Mike Goicoechea, Incident Commander

August 11, 2021
 
 Contact Information

Fire Statistics

  • Location: Multiple locations near Lolo Pass
  • Date of Origin: July 12, 2021
  • Cause: Lightning
  • Total fire acres: 5,758
  • Containment: 15%
  • Cost: $8.4 million           
  •  Injuries: 0
  • Structures Lost: 0           
  • Structures Threatened: 33

Resources

  • Crews: 3
  • Engines: 9
  • Helicopters: 3
  • Water Tenders: 4
  • Heavy Equipment: 11
  • Personnel: 165


Lolo National Forest Closure Update
Due to moderated fire activity and good progress on the Granite Pass Complex, forest managers will be reducing the forest area closure for the Granite Pass Complex on the Missoula Ranger District/Lolo National Forest (Montana side) of the complex. The area closure east of Highway 12 will be rescinded, opening the East Fork Lolo and Lee Creek areas to public access. The closure order on the west side of Highway 12 is being modified to fully open the Howard Creek drainage and allow public access between Fish Creek and Highway 12 along the Fish Creek Road (#343). 

A smaller area closure will remain in place due to continued fire suppression activity. This area of the Missoula Ranger District will remain closed: the area west of Highway 12, west of the Fish Creek Road (#343), north of Lolo and Granite Pass, south of the Ninemile/Missoula Ranger District boundary, and east/north of the Idaho-Montana state line. The Lee Creek campground will remain closed.  Please refer to the map below/attached.

Please use caution when recreating in these areas as fire suppression traffic is still present.  An updated closure order will be forthcoming. Area, road and trail closures remain in place for the Powell Ranger District of the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests. Please visit here for more information on Idaho closures: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/nezperceclearwater/alerts-notices.

Fires in the Granite Pass Complex are being managed under a full suppression strategy with public and firefighter safety as the number one priority. Both indirect and direct suppression tactics are being implemented where access, natural terrain features, and fire behavior allows.

Summary

The Granite Pass Complex consists of four fires. The Shotgun and Boulder Creek fires are on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests. The BM Hill Fire is on both the Nez Perce-Clearwater and the Lolo National Forests. The Lolo Creek fire is exclusively on the Lolo National Forest. The use of water is aiding crews with mop-up operations to protect the Highway 12 transportation corridor, timber resources, electric transmission lines, and recreational improvements while also minimizing impacts to private property and structures. The warming and drying trend may reveal hotspots within the fire interior, allowing crews to implement direct suppression activities. Small amounts of smoke are expected to be visible within the fire area.

Lolo and Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests

BM Hill Fire: 4,882 acres, located approximately 1.25 miles north of the Lolo Pass Visitor Center and one-half mile west of Highway 12. Crews took advantage of high humidity levels and favorable weather to implement direct suppression actions on hotspots within the fire perimeter revealed by the return of warm and dry weather conditions. The heavy equipment taskforce continued to make progress on constructing indirect line toward the southwest end of the fire on Tuesday, utilizing old trails and other features.

Work will continue on the indirect line on along 2198 Road on the north side of the BM Hill Fire as crews wrap up chipping. Indirect line construction will continue toward Crooked Fork Creek. Firefighters will continue to scout and build direct line tying into roads and ridges where possible as they work toward Shotgun Creek. Work will continue along Granite Creek Road. Additionally, crews will continue to monitor the control lines on the northeast side of the fire.

Lolo National Forest

Lolo Creek Fire: 165 acres, located approximately one quarter mile west of Highway 12 and one mile north of the Lolo Pass Visitor Center. Crews have completed control lines on the fire perimeter and the fire is in patrol status.

Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests

Shotgun: 517 acres, located approximately two miles south of the Lolo Pass Visitor Center and four miles west of Highway 12. Boulder Creek Fire: 175 acres, located approximately five miles west of the Lolo Pass Visitor Center. The Shotgun and Boulder Creek fires are in very remote, steep, and rugged terrain. Fire spread has been minimal due to the 2015 Boulder Fire scar where limited fuels are available. Road access has been granted through private land along the southern perimeter of the fire. Fire personnel are scouting roads and terrain features on both the Shotgun and Boulder Creek Fires to place effective indirect containment lines.

Weather

The gradual warming and drying trend continues today as a ridge builds over the region bringing warmer temperatures and lower levels of relative humidity. Temperatures will be slightly warmer and drier than Tuesday. Winds gusts around 20 mph are expected at the fire area. Temperatures are forecast to be back in the mid to upper 80s by the end of the week.

Evacuations, Closures, and Additional Information

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