7:30 AM Tuesday, September 2, 2003
Name Tina Boehle
What: Wildland Fire, Lightning Caused
Started: July 18, 2003
General Location: About 42 miles north of Columbia Falls, Montana, and 6 miles south of the Canadian border.
Current Size: 50,093 Acres
Expected Containment Date: 9/15/2003 at 1800 hrs.
Threats: Whale Creek residents along the North Fork Road, Trail Creek Residents (approximately 100 homes/cabins), historic buildings and Kintla Campground. Timber, Recreation, Fisheries, and Wild and Scenic River Resources.
Injuries: 1 in last 24 hours: 25 total incident.
Jurisdiction: USDA Forest Service (Flathead National Forest), Flathead County, and Glacier National Park
Other Cooperating Agencies: Montana DNRC, BIA and BLM
Remarks: To date: 7 houses/cabins, 29 outbuildings were lost and 1 house/cabin damaged. (July 26 and July 31, 2003)
Resources on the fire:
The inversion, suppressing fire activity until late in the afternoon for the past several days, lifted much earlier Labor Day, increasing fire activity throughout the region. Fire activity from the Canadian border to the Roberts fire was very active this afternoon.
After the inversion lifted, fire activity picked up dramatically in Trail Creek, the north end of Kintla Lake, and the unlined southeast portion of the Wedge Canyon Fire areas.
Construction began on a secondary fire line in the Trail Creek area. Trees were felled in preparation for dozer line construction. Heavy timber with abundant dead and down trees, coupled with rough terrain, is the major control problem in the area.
The active fire on Kintla Lake is burning in rocks and is no threat.
A portion of the southeast section of the Wedge Canyon fire is active but remains in the bottom of Akokala Creek with the help of air support.
Burn out operations took place yesterday on the west portion of the southeast fire line. Smoke from the operation was visible throughout the area. Crews are expected to be out until midnight completing the burn out.
All of the active fire is inside the containment lines, burning the fuel between the fire line and the fire’s edge.
Crews continue to improve established lines, and mop up hotspots within 100 feet of the fire line. Structure protection continues around and near residences throughout the fire area.
The Wolf Gun fire was flown for the first time in several days. According to operations Chief, Gary Elliot, “There’s a lot of fire out there.” “Aerial patrol will be the name of the game for a while.” This fire in Glacier National Park is being suppressed. However, the top priority is lives and property. So the Wedge Canyon Fire is the main concern at this time.
A PowerPoint presentation with an aerial view of the fire as well as burn out operations will be shown at the Polebidge community meeting this evening at 8:00 PM. The public is welcome.
[ Back to Top ]
Flathead National Forest