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Blackfoot Lake Complex Fire Information

Flathead National Forest

September 6, 2003   7:00 a.m.

Fire Name:      Blackfoot Lake Complex                

Date and Time of Fire Start:  August 20, 2003  1:54 pm

Joint Information Center: (406) 755-3910 6 a.m. – 9 p.m.  Blackfoot Lake Fire Information 387-4609

Location: 19 Miles East of Kalispell, Montana

Kind of Fuels: Mixed Conifer

Cause: Lightning                                 

Size:  Total Acreage - 25,996

Individual Fires: Beta-1,430, Doris-3,097 Blackfoot Lake-5,137, Dead Buck-14, Doe-1,591, Wounded Buck-81, Wildcat, Upper Lid, Ball-4,496, Mid-10,120                 

Weather Conditions: The inversion lifted early Friday increasing fire activity throughout the complex. Temperatures were in the high 70’s to low 80’s with humidity in the low 20’s to teens.

Fire Behavior: Rates of spread of up to 1.5 miles per hour and flame lengths of up to 200 feet were observed as growth occurred on many of the fires.

Agency Jurisdiction: U. S. Forest Service, Flathead National Forest

Cooperating Agencies: BLM, BIA, FS, FWS, NPS, State of Montana, Flathead County

Estimated Containment: 4 percent    

Estimated Containment Date: September 30, 2003 

Incident Commander: H. Mortier/P. O’Bannon  

Equipment and Personnel: 55 hand crews, 6 helicopters shared with the Robert Complex, 18 engines, 15 water tenders, 15 pieces of heavy equipment (includes dozers and feller bunchers), 212 overhead personnel, and 5 camp crews.

Total Number of Personnel: 1,538

Threats: Powerlines and structures around Hungry Horse dam, communities of Hungry Horse and Martin City, cabins in the Heinrud area, and Coram Experimental Forest and Research Natural Area.

Structures Destroyed: None

Injuries this period: 0                                 

Injuries to Date: 22                           

Cost to date: $9,304,897     

Special Information: The East Side Reservoir Road (38) from the end of the pavement to Spotted Bear Ranger Station has been closed to all public traffic.

The Beta and Doris fire lines are doing well on the south, east, and north sides. Line construction continues on the west. The Blackfoot and Ball fires have made large runs. As of 6 p.m. on Friday, management of the Mid fire was transferred to the Little Salmon Complex.  

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