Tuesday, November 30, 2021

UPDATE (Sunday): Latest on Boulder 2700 and Crooks fires

| August 8, 2021 8:15 AM

Boulder 2700 Fire Sunday update

Inciweb: inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7754

Email: 2021.boulder2700@firenet.gov

Facebook: www.facebook.com/CSKT.Division.of.Fire

Information Phone: 406-530-5107

Location: 8 miles east of Polson

Estimated Size: 1,922 acres

Containment: 16%

Incident Command: Type 2 Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 4, Rick Connell, Incident Commander

Evacuations and Closures: As of 10 p.m. last night, the mile marker 2 checkpoint is removed. Residents from mile marker 6 to mile marker 9 may obtain a permit for re-entry from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office at the Finley Point check point. East Shore residents between mile marker 6 and 9 remain in stage 2 (“SET”) evacuation status. Residents should be prepared to evacuate in the event fire activity increases. The speed limit is lowered to 35 mph within the area past mile marker 2 to protect firefighters, utility company employees and the public. All homes from mile marker 9 to mile marker 13.5 remain in stage 3 (“GO”) evacuated status due to hazards and fire activity in the area. Highway 35 is closed to through traffic in both directions from Polson at the Highway 93/35 junction to Blue Bay mile marker 15.

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Current Status: Higher winds yesterday sustained fire activity on south and west facing slopes, but increased humidity and partial cloud cover kept overall fire activity minimal. Active areas of the fire are burning mainly in timber litter and timber understory. These fuels are drier than average leading to a high resistance to control. The east and northeast flanks continue to hold heat in heavy fuels and spread slowly upslope, where steep terrain and thick blowdown make access difficult for firefighters. Type 1 helicopters dropped water on these areas to slow the spread. Two IRAWS (Incident Remote Automatic Weather Systems) were set up to measure weather data at the incident, which will be used to predict fire behavior and inform fire suppression tactics. As of 8:00 a.m. this morning, one IRAWS located on the southern end of the fire received almost 0.5 inches of rain, while the other on the eastern flank received 0.8 inches.

Planned Actions: Crews will patrol during periods of rain and then will continue to mop up hot spots and assess structures while aviation assets keep the fire in check and limit spread. Working off north-south roads, firefighters will continue their prep work on primary and secondary contingency lines from Blue Bay to Finley Point. If the fire turns from either flank and moves downslope, contingency lines provide firefighters the opportunity to burn off these lines to prevent fire spread toward the lake.

Incoming rain will be beneficial for the fire but could create debris flows in high severity burned areas. Today’s forecast calls for a high of 65 with 70 percent relative humidity. Winds will be out of the west at 5-15 mph. Morning rain and possible afternoon thunderstorms are expected to bring more than ½ inch of rain, helping to moderate fire behavior.

Temporary Boating Restriction (TBR): There is a TBR in place on Flathead Lake. No boats are allowed from Boulder Creek on the north to Station Creek on the south and one-half mile out from the shoreline. This restriction is in place to support the fire closure area as well as to provide a safe area on the lake for aircraft to pick up water.

Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR): There is a TFR in place for air space over the Boulder 2700 Fire (FDC 1-0786) to reduce impacts to fire aviation operations. Temporary flight restrictions also apply to unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or drones. Drones are subject to the TFR. If you fly, we can’t!

Crooks Fire Saturday update

Acres: 1,000

Cause: Lightning

Containment: 0%

Total personnel: 100

Start Date: July 21, 2021

Origin Location: 8 miles SE of Arlee, Montana

Fuels: Timber, forest litter, grass and shrubs

Incident Command: Local Type 3 organization, led by Art Trahan, Incident Commander, Robert D. McCrea (T)

Evacuations and Closures: St. Mary’s to the North Fork is closed; Main Jocko Road (1000 Rd) is closed at the 3000 Rd junction.

No structures are threatened, and no evacuation orders are in effect.

The Crooks fire started on July 21, 2021. The fire is located in the South fork Jocko Primitive Area and is burning in timber, forest litter, grass, and shrubs in steep, rough, roadless terrain. Crooks Fire is burning thick standing and dead timber in the South Fork Jocko Primitive area of the Flathead Agency. Access is very limited. This area is designated to allow fire management to use fire as a management tool to sustain ecosystem values.

Fire activity during the last 48 hours was minimal thanks to cooler weather and smoke cover. There has been a small increase of fire activity on the north flank. Firefighters and equipment are building control lines and clearing vegetation in Division A in the event the fire moves down into the Jocko valley.

Weather Outlook: Sunday will be cool, high in the lower 60s, which will help with fire behavior.

Primary and Cooperating Agencies: Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Lake County Office of Emergency Management, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, U.S. Forest Service

There will be a community meeting in Arlee, MT at the fitness center gym at 6 p.m. Monday.

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If you have questions or concerns regarding this notice, please contact Division of Fire at 676-2550 or contact C.T. Camel, Fire Information Officer, at 406-676-2550 ext. 6407 or email: ct.camel@cskt.org


Crooks Fire map for Thursday, Aug. 5 (InciWeb)