Date & Time
Fact Sheet 53
Wedge Canyon Fire
September 8, 2003 – Progress on the Wedge Canyon fire continues aggressively. Crews continue to make excellent progress, completing burnout operations in several areas. Progress was made in the Trail Creek area further minimizing the fire’s threat to the residents.
Most smoke and fire activity is in the interior of the fire perimeter and is of little threat. Much of the scattered smoke pockets were caused by today’s winds. Structure protection in the Teepee Lake area, Trail Creek, North Fork road and Bowman lake areas continues.
As the fire winds down, some of the road closures on Forest Service roads in the Fire area will be lifted Tuesday, opening some of the area to the general public; specifically the North Fork road from Big Creek to Moose creek.
About 200 firefighters will be released in the next three days, mostly engine crews from Nevada and a hotshot crew
The remaining growth is expected in northeast corner of the Fire in the Kintla Lake basin towards the higher elevations of the year 2000 Parke peak fire. Limited suppression actions are planned for the higher elevations. Aggressive fire suppression activities continued in the Kintla Lake area to prevent the fire from spreading into Canada. Mop up activities in remaining divisions continues along with continued structure protection from isolated flare-ups.
The Wolf Gun Fire was very active today. There were two to three miles of very active front on the southwest side of the fire. It continues to be in aerial patrol status.
A cold front just east of the Cascades is proceeding towards the area. It is expected over the fire area early Monday morning. This weather pattern is expected to produce winds of 25-30 miles per hour in advance of the front.
Humidity will increase and a slight amount of rain is expected. However, most of the precipitation is expected to pass south of the area. The weather for the several days following the front’s passage is expected to be “unsettled.” Thursday should be 10 degrees cooler with possible snow flurries on the ridge tops. “It looks summer, as we know it, is ending. Fall type weather, with dry northwesterly winds should follow the series fronts” said Bob Nester, the fire’s National Weather Service weatherman. He continued, “A tear was shed because summer’s over.”
Date Started: July 18, 2003
General Location: About 42 miles north of Columbia Falls, Montana, and 6 miles south of the Canadian border.
Current Size: 52,100 Acres
Expected Containment Date: September 15, 2003
Potential Threats: Unique old growth timber. Important recreation, fisheries and scenic resources. Historic buildings and Kintla Campground. Homes along Trail Creek, Whale Creek and Tepee Lake Road. residents, and those living along North Fork, Whale Creek, and Tepee Lake Roads (approximately 80 homes/cabins);
Injuries: 0 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:
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Flathead National Forest