Bureau of Indian Affairs
PO Box 40 Pablo Montana 59855
Pablo, MT 59855
Information Phone: (406) 530-5107
Location: Eight miles east of Polson, MT Estimated Size: 2,072 acres Containment: 36 percent
Incident Command: Type 2 Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 4, Rick Connell, Incident Commander
Evacuations and Closures: Beginning this morning at 8:00 a.m., the Lake County Sheriff’s Office is lifting the evacuation stage 3 (“GO”) status for property owners in the fire area along Highway 35 from mile markers 9 to 11. The Montana Department of Transportation will escort local traffic through these two miles of the highway with pilot cars from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Residents in this area transition to stage 2 (“SET”) of the “Ready-Set-Go” plan for wildfire evacuation status and should be prepared to evacuate if the fire activity increases. Additionally, Highway 35 will reopen to local traffic. The speed limit is reduced to 35 mph from mile markers 6 to 13 for public and firefighter safety.
Drivers need to be aware of existing hazards in the fire area including suppression and tree felling activities, rolling rocks and debris, smoke, firefighter engines and crew vehicles, aircraft, and utility vehicles. DO NOT STOP in the fire area due to all these hazards. Both Mission Valley Power and Century Link continue to restore power and internet services to the area. Skilled sawyers may also still be conducting hazard tree removal along the highway corridor. Traffic may be held up during these operations. Finally, power could be intermittent as infrastructure repair and replacement work continues
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Current Status: The fire area continues to dry out from Saturday’s rain event with increased temperatures and winds. Overall, minimal fire behavior was observed, such as smoldering pockets of heat. Crews are making good progress and continue mopping up and patrolling the fire area and structure areas for smokes that indicate pockets of heat, along with preparing containment and contingency lines. Crews are still finding some pockets of heat around the structures. A fire crew with skills to cut dangerous dead trees (snags) are working along Highway 35 to remove the hazard trees.
Planned Actions: Firefighters will continue to mop-up and extinguish hot spots along the north and south flanks, working from the fire’s edge inward. Crews continue to reinforce containment lines by constructing handline where bulldozers cannot access the fire’s perimeter due to the steep slopes. Heavy equipment will continue to improve and construct containment and contingency lines where they are able to operate. Aircraft will be used as needed to meet suppression objectives. Utility companies and road crews continue to work in the Highway 35 corridor.
The weather today should be warmer and drier with a high near 87, and winds out of the southwest at 10-15 mph, then shifting easterly in the evening hours, with gusts around 25 mph on the ridges, decreasing by morning. Hotter and drier weather continues through the rest of the week with steady winds from east, then shifting from the west.
Temporary Boating Restriction (TBR): There is a TBR in place on Flathead Lake. No boats are allowed from Boulder Creek on the north to Station Creek on the south and one-half mile out from the shoreline. This restriction is in place to provide a safe area on the lake for aircraft to pick up water.
Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR): There is a TFR in place for air space over the Boulder 2700 Fire (FDC 1-0786) to reduce impacts to fire aviation operations. Temporary flight restrictions also apply to unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or drones. Drones are subject to the TFR. If you fly, we can’t!
Primary and Cooperating Agencies: Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Lake County Office of Emergency Management, Finley Point/Yellow Bay Fire Department, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, and the U.S. Forest Service.