Kootenai National Forest Fire Update for September 2, 2017

Release Date: 

Contact(s): Willie Sykes

LIBBY, Mont. September 2, 2017This is the September 2 fire update of the fires that are burning actively on the Kootenai National Forest. The Gibralter, Caribou, West Fork, and Highway 200 Complex fires are detailed below. Personnel, equipment and other resources are on the scene at these fires and other resources are on order to respond to the fires.

Fire growth on the Gibralter Ridge Fire is minimal and crews will continue to mop-up, patrol and monitor the west, south and east sides of the fire. Pre-evacuation warnings and closure orders are in place in the vicinity of the fire areas.

The Caribou Fire, now estimated at 6,781 acres, has continued burning east toward Road 303 and another active fire day is expected. Crews and heavy equipment along Road 303 are on the scene to provide structure protection and residents can expect to see fire personnel in the area. Pre-evacuation warnings have been issued for all areas in West Kootenai as of 7:00 p.m. on September 1.

Structures are threatened and structure protection assessments will commence today for West Kootenai starting in the Spring Creek area. Fire managers will continue to coordinate with Canadian fire managers on fire protocol. There will be a community meeting to discuss the Caribou Fire today, September 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the community of West Kootenai on the Kootenai store deck.

The West Fork Fire, estimated at 900 acres, is located in the Quartz Creek and Bobtail Ridge area on the Libby Ranger District. The fire is experiencing spotting and active fire behavior and with the windy conditions expect to see smoke in the air. The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office is requesting the public to avoid the Kootenai River Road, Quartz Creek Road, Bobtail Road and Bobtail Cutoff areas to facilitate safe fire response and public safety. A Type III team is in place to provide fire suppression and will collaborate with Lincoln County and the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office to provide a coordinated fire response. Pre-evacuation warnings have been issued for residents in the upper end of Bobtail Road north of Bobtail Cutoff, including Horton Drive.

The Highway 200 Complex, now estimated 828 acres, includes the Readers Fires, Miller Fire, Moose Peak Fire and the Cub Fire on the Cabinet Ranger District and Deep Creek and Sheep gap Fires on the Plains-Thompson Falls Ranger District on the Lolo National Forest. A closure order is in place in the vicinity of the Reader and Cub fires. Pre-evacuation notices have been issued to some residents along the East Fisher Road. A Type II Team led by Rick Connell is in charge of the fire and will assume command tonight, September 2.

Windy, warmer and dryer weather will persist through the weekend. Stage II Fire Restrictions are in effect for Lincoln County and Kootenai National Forest due to extreme fire danger.

Current fire conditions can be found at www.firerestrictions.us. Go to the Kootenai webpage at https://www.fs.usda.gov/kootenai for the latest on Closure Orders and Kootenai Forest fire map. Info on the Gibralter Ridge and Caribou can also be found at https://www.inciweb.gov.





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