Daily fire update, firework restrictions updates
By Moosetrack Megan


It’s wetter than it was Fourth of July weekend 2015, when fireworks were banned in most parts of the state, but authorities are still reminding folks to be careful.

It’s believed that youths setting off fireworks burned down a baseball field in Columbia Falls on Monday night. Last year, a small child burned down a home while playing with fireworks in Ronan.

 

FWP issued the following warning:

Visiting a Montana fishing access site on the July 4th weekend is a great idea – just leave the fireworks at home.
Fire season in Montana is already underway in many parts of the state. This means it’s all our responsibility to be careful with fire and any potential sources of ignition. It’s been long-standing policy with FWP to keep fireworks off our sites to ensure the safety of our public and to protect our recreation and habitat resources.
Fireworks are illegal on all Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks sites including fishing access sites, wildlife management areas and other sites.
With wildfires already starting to ignite around the state, Gov. Steve Bullock issued the following statement on Tuesday:
“The recent high temperatures and dry conditions have elevated the wildfire danger across the state, particularly in the southeast portion of the state; where conditions are extremely dry.  These conditions coupled with fireworks and increasing summer recreation have put firefighters on heightened alert,” Bullock said. “One careless spark could ignite the next wildfire.”
Anyone using fireworks on FWP lands may be charged with a misdemeanor that can result in a fine up to $500.
The Governor’s Office issued the following statement:
HELENA, MT – Governor Steve Bullock encourages Montanans to take extra precautions with fireworks, campfires and other outdoor activities during their Independence Day celebrations.
 
“The recent high temperatures and dry conditions have elevated the wildfire danger across the state, particularly in the southeast portion of the state; where conditions are extremely dry.  These conditions coupled with fireworks and increasing summer recreation have put firefighters on heightened alert,” Bullock said. “One careless spark could ignite the next wildfire.”
 
Firefighting agencies across Montana dedicate themselves to keeping communities safe from wildfires but it takes everyone working together. Bullock stressed, “We all have an important role in preventing wildfires to ensure we keep Montana green.” 
 
Montanans are reminded that fireworks are prohibited on all state and federal lands, and present a wildfire risk wherever there is dry vegetation.  Bullock also reminded recreationists to never leave a campfire or barbecue unattended, check tow chains to assure they are not dragging, and remember that vehicles parked or driving in tall vegetation can start a fire.  “By using our ‘One Less Spark, One Less Wildfire’ motto we can celebrate our independence while being fire-safe,” Bullock said.
 
Firefighters are already in action across Montana with the recent Moser Dome Road Fire near Laurel, Yates 2 Fire in Carter County and pervious fires in Rosebud County and Powder River County. Central and western Montana is also keeping busy with initial attack on new starts. Crews are working hard to put out these fires before they grow in size.  Montana’s fire activity coupled with major fires burning in California, Arizona, South Dakota, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and Alaska, is putting a demand on firefighting resources across the West.  

Contact your local fire department for information on any local fire restrictions.
Here’s the update for fires burning in Montana, according to InciWeb.
Hamilton, Montana (June 28, 2016) – Crews continue to fight the Observation Fire burning in the Lost Horse area of the Bitterroot National Forest. The fire is estimated at 322 acres and is burning in extremely steep terrain. Helicopters have dropped over 100,000 gallons of water on the fire. A mobile retardant station will be set up near the fire today. There are 117 personnel, an additional 2,600 gallon helicopter now assigned to the incident.Dozer line is being constructed from Lost Horse Road to the southeast side of fire. There was minimal fire activity reported on the east side of the fire perimeter yesterday. Most of the activity was on the northwest flank. The fire is still holding on Observation Ridge. Ground crews plan to focus on the southwest and northeast sides of the fire while aerial resources will continue work in the inaccessible terrain. Incident Command Post is scheduled to move to the Darby High School today.

A new road and area closure order was expanded Monday evening to include the Lost Creek Horse Road (FSR #429) from the junction with Lick Creek Road (FSR#5621) west to Twin Lakes, Schumaker Campground and Bear Creek Pass Trailhead due to firefighter and public safety concerns. The public is encouraged to minimize traffic in the area. Lake Como and Coyote Coulee Trail remain open. However boaters may observe helicopters dipping water from Lake Como and are advised to stay clear of any aircraft.

A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is also in place for a 5 mile radius above the fire west of Highway 93. For more specific information about the TFR visit FAA.gov.

Three new small fires, each lightning-caused and 1/10th acre in size, were reported by lookouts Monday evening.Bitterroot National Forest fire crews are responding:one near Dowling Gulch on the Sula Ranger District; one at Scimitar, 1 mile NE of Magruder, and another at Cache Creek in the Nez Perce Pass area on the West Fork Ranger District.Fire danger is expected to increase to HIGH on Wednesday.Weather conditions will remain hot and dry throughout the week with potential for scattered thunderstorms.

Bitterroot National Forest Offices:

Stevensville Ranger District, (406) 777-5461

Darby/Sula Ranger District, (406) 821-3913

West Fork Ranger District, (406) 821-3269

Supervisor’s Office, (406) 363-7100

Basic Information

Current as of ‎6‎/‎28‎/‎2016‎ ‎6‎:‎02‎:‎51‎ ‎PM
Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Lightning
Date of Origin Friday June 24th, 2016 approx. 12:00 PM
Location West of Lost Horse Observation Point
Incident Commander Derek Davenport
Incident Description Wildfire Located In Steep Rocky Terrain Of Bitterroot Mountains

Current Situation

Total Personnel 117
Size 322 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained 5%
Fuels Involved Douglas fir, grass understory
Significant Events At approximately 4:30 p.m. this afternoon there was unexpected fire behavior on the eastern edge of the perimeter. The fire jumped the eastern ridge and burned laterally appox. 100 yards downslope to the east. All crews were pulled off of the line due to the extreme fire behavior. As of 6:00 p.m. an air tanker was dropping retardant on the fire with a load and return out of Missoula. 3 more air tankers have been ordered.

Outlook

Planned Actions Dozer line is being constructed from Lost Horse Road to the southeast side of the fire. Ground crews plan to focus on the SW and NE sides of the fire while aerial resources will continue to work in the inaccessible terrain.
Remarks Minimize impact on private property and Forest infrastructure.

 

 






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