Fire Update: August 14, 2018
Goldstone Fire, Beaverhead-Deerlodge and Salmon Challis National Forests
The lightning caused Goldstone Fire was detected on August 2. The fire started burning in a high elevation basin near Goldstone Pass, located approximately five miles west of Reservoir Lake or eighteen miles south of Jackson MT in the Park Creek drainage in the Bitterroot Mountains, on the Montana and Idaho state border. It is in steep mountainous terrain and is burning in heavy mixed conifer fuels (sub-alpine fir, Engleman Spruce, lodgepole pine) with very heavy concentrations of standing dead trees (snags).
The fire is approximately 4000 acres with 69 resources working on the fire including engines and heavy equipment. This fire is being suppressed by creating fuel breaks and handline where possible. Today fire personnel will continue prepping the Bloody Dick Road and looking for spots that could possibly be outside the main fire perimeter. The fire is 0% contained. A Type 2 Incident Management Team will be assuming control of the fire August 15, 2018 at 6:00 a.m.
A new Closure Order #2018-D1-015 is in effect. There is a re-route for hikers on the Continental Divided Trail. The Reservoir Lake campground and Bloody Dick cabin are closed. For more information contact Fire Information (406) 490-1818 or the Dillon Ranger District (406) 683-3900.
Research tells us that the majority of homes ignite during a wildfire as a result of embers or small flames. There are steps that homeowners can take to reduce the risk, with the most important efforts occurring on and immediately around the home. For more information go online to http://firewise.org
There is a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) over the fire area. For more information on TFR’s go online to http://tfr.faa.gov
Fire Weather: Idaho: A ridge of high pressure will develop over the Northern Rockies today and strengthen through Thursday. This will result in warmer temperatures, lower relative humidities and increasing thermal belts each day. Winds will primarily be terrain driven on slopes and valleys with a light westerly wind over ridges. Expect hazy conditions from area fires. Montana: A ridge of high pressure will develop over the Northern Rockies today and strengthen through Thursday. This will result in warmer temperatures, lower relative humidities and increasing thermal belts each day. Winds will primarily be terrain driven on slopes and valleys with a light westerly wind over ridges. Visibilities may be limited at times from smoke and haze, especially across northwest Montana.
Preparedness Level: The nation is currently at a Planning Level Five (PL5). PL5 indicates that there is large fire activity occurring in multiple geographic areas and a heavy commitment of crews, aircraft, and equipment to these incidents, along with a forecast for continued hot, dry, windy conditions. During PL5, as fires grow and additional resources are needed, it can take longer for resources to be assigned to a fire due to the limited number of available. The Northern Rockies Geographic Area (MT, Northern ID, and North Dakota) is at a Planning Level Four (PL4). PL4 indicates national priorities govern resources of all types .Shared resources are heavily committed. The Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest is also at Planning Level Five (PL5).
Fire restrictions are not in effect on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, however, people are encouraged to keep informed of other area restrictions by going online to https://firerestrictions.us.
Fire Activity and Smoke: Currently, there are 55 uncontained large fires in the nation, which are filtering smoke into the valleys of Montana. You can find information about these fires on Inciweb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov. Further information on smoke can be found from the MT Department of Environmental Quality’s web page at http://bit.ly/wildfiresmokereport.
Monument Fire - The lightning caused Monument Fire was detected on August 6, 2018. The fire grew yesterday and is estimated at 4,500 acres. Suppression activities yesterday and today include identifying indirect line locations and checking the progress with helicopter bucket drops and retardant planes. The fire is burning in whitebark pine, Engelmann spruce, and sub-alpine fir, with approximately 70% mortality, at an elevation of 9,000 feet.
Wigwam Fire - The lightning caused Wigwam Fire was detected on August 11, 2018. This fire also grew yesterday and is estimated at 2,500 acres. It is located in the Wigwam drainage. Yesterday fire suppression resources were successful in burning around the Shultz cabin to protect it. Fire suppression activities today will include using retardant and helicopter bucket drops to check the fires progress towards the Haypress area of the Shining mountains subdivision. Engine crews will continue structure protection and assist in evacuations if necessary.
A Unified Command of Forest Service and Madison County has been established to manage both fires. Resources currently assigned include 13 engines, 5 water tenders, strike team of heavy equipment and 150 firefighters. Two - Type 3 light helicopters have been assigned to the fire and a one - Type 1 (Heavy) is doing bucket work.
Southern California Team #3 will be assuming incident command responsibilities for both fires beginning tomorrow at 6 am.
Evacuations – Eight families of the Haypress Lakes area (located within the Shining mountains subdivision) were evacuated on August 12. The American Red Cross shelter at the Ennis Elementary has been placed on temporary standby and will be reactivated if needed. An Evacuation Order is still in effect for the Haypress Lakes road and Boiler springs from the Y (in the road) to the west (BLM). An Evacuation Warning also remains in effect from the Y (in the road) southeast to the Shining Mt. Subdivision.
Yesterday, an area and road closure went into effect for the perimeter of both fires to protect the public. Information describing the closure and map can be found at Inciweb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov.
Although Fire Restrictions are not in effect on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, Madison County has a Stage 1 local fire burn ban which prohibits open fires (no brush burning) and only campfires within an established steel fire ring.
To find out more about the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest go online to: https://www.fs.usda.gov/bdnf, and check out News & Events, ‘Like Us’ on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/US-Forest-Service-Beaverhead-Deerlodge-National-Forest-1540138089548920, and ‘Follow Us’ on our Twitter page at https://twitter.com/BvrhdDrldgeNF for further information.