NBC Montana

Rice Ridge Fire (Seeley Lake)

  • Location: 2 miles northeast of Seeley Lake
  • Size: 132,732 acres
  • Containment: 8 percent
  • Structures Threatened: 1719
  • Greg Poncin’s Type 1, Northern Rockies Incident Management Team assumed command of the Rice Ridge Fire at 6 a.m. Tuesday.
  • Missoula County Sheriff – Evacuation ORDERS were downgraded to evacuation WARNINGS on Wednesday, Sept. 6, in Zone 1 which affects approximately 429 homes. Zone 1 extends east from Highway 83 with the northern border being Cedar Street and the Southern border being Whitetail. Included streets are Cedar, School Lane, Locust, Redwood, the north side of Whitetail to Timberland, Morrell Creek Drive, Pine, Oak, Elm, Spruce, Larch, Juniper, Tamarack, Sequoia Court, Fir Drive, Cottonwood, Badger Court, Chipmunk, Lynx, Laurel, Cougar, Black Bear Court, Wild Turkey, Perch, Bass Court, Crawfish, and Salmon. This includes Seeley Lake Elementary School and Seeley Swan High School.
  • Effective at 8am on 9/10/17 the evacuation ORDERS for zones 2 and 3 have been reduced to evacuation WARNINGS.
  • This puts almost all Seeley Lake residents back into their homes. However, Zone 5 (approximately 6 homes) remains under an evacuation ORDER.
  • Residents here should still be ready for a short notice evacuation ORDER should fire conditions change.
  • Mandatory Evacuation Orders:
    • Powell County officials on Sunday ordered the evacuation of the Cooper Lake area.
    • Eastern Boundary: Cottonwood Lakes Road at the Forest Boundary and south to the northern boundary of the Double Arrow.
    • Southern Boundary: The junction of Highway 83 and Whitetail Drive east to the junction of Whitetail Drive and Dolly Varden. The southern boundary continues east to include the area north of the Commons Area and eastward to the intersection of Montana Drive and South Canyon Drive, continuing southeast along Montana Drive to the junction with Glacier Drive and then south to the junction with Double Arrow Road including Pyramid Loop and all areas in the Double Arrow Subdivision to the south and east.
    • Western Boundary: The junction of Highway 83 and Cedar Lane south to the junction of Highway 83 and Whitetail Drive.
  • Red Cross shelter site located at the UCC Church, 405 University Avenue, Missoula MT.
  • Fire information booths will be staffed at the Valley Market, Seeley Airport and Rovero’s Hardware Store on Highway 83 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Closures: A closure order is still in effect for the areas surrounding the Rice Ridge Fire. Big Larch campground is still closed.  Seeley Lake waters have been reopened.

Lolo Peak Fire (Lolo)

  • Location: 10 miles southwest of Lolo
  • Size: 50,476 acres
  • Containment: 46 percent
  • Structures threatened: 835
  • Structures destroyed: 10
  • Evacuations: No evacuation orders are currently in place for the Lolo Peak Fire. Warnings: The evacuation warning for residents north of Tie Chute Lane has been rescinded. Evacuation warnings remain in place south of Highway 12 in Elk, Bear and Graves Creek areas as well as west of Highway 93 from Tie Chute Lane south to South Kootenai Creek Road.
  • 45 mph speed limit through the fire area – HIGHWAYS ARE OPEN.
  • Fire Information Locations: Staffed fire information is available in three locations:  Super 1 Foods in Stevensville; Farmers State Bank in Florence; and the weigh station in Lolo at the corner of Highways 12 and 93.
  • Returning Home: Residents may see changes to their property as a result of firefighting operations. Check your property for damage to your well/pump, electric/gas meter, propane tank and for fire-weakened trees.
  • Stage II Fire Restrictions are in effect for Missoula and Ravalli Counties and across the Lolo and Bitterroot National Forests. Additional information can be found on Inciweb.
  • Missoula County residents can receive emergency notifications of critical alerts via their choice of text, phone and/or email by signing up at Smart911.com.
  • Shelters: the Red Cross shelter for Lolo Peak evacuees is located at the LDS church in Stevensville, 100 Middle Burn Fork Road.

Nelson Creek Fire (Bitterroot)

  • Location:  3 miles west of the West Fork Ranger District
  • Size: 280 acres
  • Containment: 70 percent
  • Evacuations: The evacuation warning has been lifted for residents on Nez Perce Road evacuated due to the Nelson Creek Fire.
  • Structures: Not threatening to any structures.

Highway 200 Complex

  • Location: northwest of Plains
  • Size: 21,380 acres
  • Containment – 14 percent
  • On the Sheep Gap, mandatory evacuations were lifted as of 8 AM on Sept 8th. However, 137 residences remain in pre-evacuation warnings and if conditions worsen, evacuations may be re-initiated by the Sanders County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Officials say to please have an evacuation plan in place NOW for what you would do in the event of an emergency. Wildfires can grow very quickly and you may receive little to no notice before an evacuation takes place.
  • Special Message: There have been a few fire rumors circulating around and misinforming area residents. As a reminder, the inciweb site and Highway 200 Complex Facebook page will only post the facts regarding the fires. Please check these sites or give us a call at the phone number above to verify fire updates and reports. In addition, if fire conditions change rapidly we will post regular updates on these websites. If nothing changes then the updates will be less frequent.
  • Sheep Gap – 12,386 acres, 33% contained
  • Reader Fires – 150 acres, 80% contained
  • Cub Creek – 3,434 acres
  • Deep Creek – 4,814 acres
  • Miller Creek – 597 acres
  • Area closures are in place around the immediate fire areas and areas integral to safe fire operations. As hunting season continues, please respect area closures. The Forest Service is working to ensure that closures are kept to a minimum but are large enough for firefighter and public safety. Please see InciWeb and the Forest Service webpages for the latest closure area maps.

Gibralter Ridge Fire (Eureka)

  • Location: East of Eureka
  • Size: 8,000 acres
  • Containment: 27 percent
  • Structures threatened: 144
  • Evacuations: A Pre-Evacuation Warning remains in effect for the Sherman Creek, Griffith Creek, Therriault Pass Road, Stevens Creek, Glen Lake and Sinclair Creek (south/east of West Road) areas.
  • Road Closure: Grave Creek Road and the Ten Lakes Recreation area are closed above the Grave Creek/Foothills Road junction.

Caribou Fire

  • Location: 21 miles northwest of Eureka
  • Size: 21,566 acres
  • Containment: 25 percent
  • Structures: unknown number destroyed
  • Located on the Three Rivers and Rexford Ranger Districts of the Kootenai National Forest, and has crossed into Canada.
  • Closures: A Closure Order remains in place for the Caribou Fire. Closure Orders and maps under the “Closures” tab on Inciweb.
  • 10 homes and 30 outbuildings is the unofficial number of structures that have been lost in the Caribou Fire, according to the Lincoln County Sheriff.
  • Evacuations:  Evacuation Order is still in effect for West Kootenai area north of Tooley Lake. A Pre-evacuation Warning is in effect for the West Kootenai area south of Tooley Lake and the Basin Creek area.
  • Shelter: the Red Cross has emergency services set up in the Church of God in Eureka, MT located at 1295 2nd Ave behind the First Interstate Bank.

Alice Creek Fire

  • Location: near Lincoln, MT
  • Size: 27,000 acres
  • Containment: zero percent
  • Structures: 4 confirmed lost
  • Evacuations: Elk Meadows/Evergreen subdivisions along with all residents along Highway 200, mile post 92 east to Highway 435/434 are under mandatory evacuation.
  • 11 residents located along Highway 200 have also been evacuated.
  • Landers Fork, Elk Trail Park and Alice Creek community areas are under a pre-evacuation notice. This means that people living or renting property in those areas, even on a part-time basis, must be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice. A security officer is staffing the main entrance that leads into the Alice Creek and Copper Creek areas to reduce public access to these areas and provide information to residents.
  • Firefighters ask residents to please drive carefully and slowly and to not impede heavy equipment.
  • Shelter: The Red Cross shelter for Alice Creek evacuees is at Wolf Creek Elementary School at 150 Walsh Street in Wolf Creek.

Sunrise Fire (Superior)

  • Location: 11 miles southeast of Superior
  • Size: 26,185 acres
  • Containment: 95 percent
  • Evacuations: Stage II Evacuations were set in place by the Mineral County Sheriff for the Quartz Creek residents. Stage II is a pre-evacuation warning and residents should be prepared to evacuate if fire conditions worsen. This is not an immediate evacuation. The Sunrise Fire became more active yesterday September 3, 2017 and continued movement in the Quartz Creek drainage. Fire managers are concerned with the upcoming weather and dry fuel conditions in the area.
  • Shelter: The Red Cross is prepared to provide shelter at Superior High School for evacuees.

Sapphire Complex Fire (Rock Creek)

  • Location: 25 miles southeast of Missoula
  • Size: 43,648 acres
  • Containment: 59 percent
  • Evacuations: A Level Red-Evacuation Order for approximately thirty-five residences along Rock Creek Road remains in effect, beginning from and including Wild Rose Loop south to Stony Creek. All other Level Yellow-Pre-evacuation notices are still in effect.
  • Structures Threatened: Private property and structures in the Rock Creek, Upper Willow Creek, and Marshall Creek drainages remain threatened. Other resources threatened include fisheries in Rock Creek, grazing lands along the southern boundary of the Little Hogback Fire, Bonneville Power Administration powerline, and a communication site.
  • Structures Destroyed: 1 cabin, 14 outbuildings.
  • Closures: The Rock Creek Road from I-90 south to Bitterroot Campground (MP 23.5) is OPEN. Due to fire traffic congestion and fire safety concerns, Rock Creek Road will stay CLOSED from Bitterroot Campground, south to Cornish Gulch (FSR5027), and public traffic is NOT allowed. Upper Willow Creek Road is currently closed to the public. The Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest reduced closure restrictions in the Black Pine ridge area, but maintains all area closures in Upper Willow Creek, North Fork Lower Willow Creek, and Harvey Creek areas. The Bureau of Land Management has an area closure in Upper Willow Creek, Ram Mountain, and nearby areas. The Lolo and Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forests, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Montana Department of Natural Resources (DNRC) closure orders and maps are posted under the closures tab on Inciweb. Please adhere to all closures and allow our firefighters to perform their jobs safely.
  • Fire Restrictions: Stage 1 Fire Restrictions are in place on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest (Forest Service land east of Sandstone Ridge). Stage 2 Fire Restrictions are in place on BLM, private and state lands in Granite County, and the Lolo National Forest (Forest Service land west of Sandstone Ridge).

Meyers Fire (Philipsburg)

  • Location: 25 miles southwest of Philipsburg
  • Size: 59,291 acres
  • Containment: 8 percent
  • Structures threatened: 343
  • The Montana National Guard have been to deployed to help with fighting the Meyers Fire, located 25 miles southwest of Philipsburg.The soldiers are staffing five security checkpoints around the fire area to free law enforcement personnel for other duties.
  • Evacuations and Closures: The Frog Pond and Moose Lake areas are under an evacuation order. Additionally, an evacuation warning is in effect on East Fork Rd from FS Rd 5778 to Little East Fork Rd (FS RD 724) on the Bitterroot National Forest. Those under an evacuation warning should be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice.
  • Bitterroot National Forest emergency closure orders are in effect for upper areas of the East Fork Bitterroot River. Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest has an emergency closure order around the fire extending into the Anaconda Pintler Wilderness. A temporary flight restriction (TFR) is in effect surrounding the Meyers Fire area. Granite County is under Stage 2 fire restrictions for private lands in the county. Amended Stage 1 fire restrictions are in effect today which prohibits ALL campfires in southwestern Montana on public lands, including in fire rings and developed recreation areas.

Sprague Fire (Glacier National Park)

  • Location: 9 miles northeast of West Glacier, MT
  • Size: 13,674 acres
  • Containment: 35 percent
  • Three large fires are currently burning in Glacier National Park: the Sprague Fire, Adair Peak Fire, and the Elder Creek Fire. All three fires experienced high gusty winds from the east on Sunday evening, with both the Sprague and Adair Peak fires having significant increases in acreage. Fire growth moderated on Monday with lighter winds. Lower temperatures and slightly higher relative humidity is forecast.
  • The Adair Peak Fire, was started by lightning on August 12, was detected on August 12, is located in a remote area of the park on the south side of Logging Lake, and is 1,744 acres. Structure protection is being implemented for two National Park Service (NPS) cabins located at the head and foot of Logging Lake, along with the Logging Ranger Station. The fire is not posing an immediate threat to any of these structures. An area closure has been implemented for the surrounding area. Fire managers expect the fire behavior to moderate as this fire enters old fire scars, including the 2001 Moose Fire scar.
  • The Elder Creek Fire lies on the Montana and British Columbia border, and started on the Canadian side on September 2nd. It is currently 1,853 acres, with approximately 80 acres on the US side. Communication between the British Columbia Wildfire Service in Cranbrook and the NPS is ongoing.
  • The Sprague Fire is now 13,343 acres. Heavy localized smoke is causing a reduction in fire behavior which has allowed firefighters more suppression opportunities. Yesterday two helicopters dipped water out of Lake McDonald and worked to cool the fire in the Mt. Brown area and the ridge above the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Overnight firefighters monitored activity on Snyder Ridge and patrolled the Lake McDonald Lodge complex.
  • Lake McDonald Lodge closed for the season on Aug. 30 due to air quality concerns. An evacuation notice was issued on September 3rd for the Lake McDonald area due to fire activity, forcing the closure of the Going-to-the-Sun Road between Apgar Village and Logan Pass; concessions operations in the Lake McDonald Lodge area including boat tours and rentals and guided horseback rides have also closed as a result of this evacuation. Horseback rides and boat rentals are still available in the Apgar area and on the east side of the park.
  • All interpretive programs in the Lake McDonald Lodge and Avalanche areas are cancelled until further notice.
  • Some trails and backcountry campgrounds are closed due to fire activity. Many areas of the park remain OPEN including some areas of the North Fork, Apgar Village, the Going-to-the-Sun Road between St. Mary and Logan Pass, Granite Park Chalet, Two Medicine, St. Mary, and Many Glacier. Please check the park website for current conditions including closures at https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/conditions.htm
  • Closures: All park entrances remain open. The Going-to-the-Sun Road is closed between Apgar Loop Road and Logan Pass. Logan Pass is accessible via the St. Mary Entrance. Apgar Village, Campground, and Picnic Area are open. The Sprague, Snyder, and Lincoln Creek drainages and associated trails, from Lake McDonald Trailhead on the west and Gunsight Pass on the east, are also closed to all use. Visit http://go.nps.gov/glacconditions for trail, road, and campground information.
  • Evacuations: Area residents and Park visitors were evacuated last Sunday. The evacuation order remains in effect from the south end of Lake McDonald north to Logan Pass. This includes the North McDonald Road. This does not include the Apgar area at this time. Logan Pass is still accessible from the east side of the Park. The duration of the evacuation is unknown at this time.
  • Structure protection work was completed in the Lake McDonald Lodge area. The Fort Apache Hotshots, along with structure protection engines, staged overnight in the Lake McDonald Lodge area. A night shift patrolled the area. Today structure protection hose lays and sprinkler deployments will be initiated in the Avalanche Creek Campground area. Mop up work continues around the Sperry Chalet. The Mt. Brown Lookout continues to persist.
  • Shelter: the Red Cross shelter for Sprague evacuees is located at Canyon Elementary School, 200 North Street, in Hungry Horse.

West Fork Fire and Moose Peak Fire(Libby)

  • Location: 7 miles northwest of Libby
  • Size: West Fork – 9,923 acres / Moose Creek – 6,823 acres
  • Structures threatened: West Fork – 709 / Moose Creek – 45
  • Containment: zero percent for both fires
  • Evacuations:
  • New ADDITIONAL evacuations for West Fork Fire have been ordered by Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and include:
    • Kootenai River Road from Quarts Creek to end of Bighorn Terrace
    • NORTH side of Kootenai River Road from North Central to Quartz Creek
    • Lower Bobtail, including Burrell and Indian Pipe
  • The following areas were already under evacuation order:
    • 17 Mile Community of Pipe Creek Road
    • Upper Bobtail Road, north of and including Hutton Drive, along with Milton Drive, Bobtail Lane, Verna Court
    • Quartz Mountain Road
  • The following pre-evacuation warnings are also in place:
    • Bobtail Road from Kootenai River Road to below Hutton Drive
    • Bobtail Cutoff Road
    • Winter Road
    • Whitetail Road
    • Indian Pipe Road
    • Bull Creek Road
    • Burrell Drive
    • Kootenai River Road, from Quartz Mountain Road to the end of Kootenai River Road (Bighorn Terrace)
    • North side of Kootenai River Road from North Central Road to Quartz Mountain Road
    • Pipe Creek Road from Forest Way and north
    • Forest Way
    • Lodge Pole Way
    • Doak Creek Road
    • Blue Mountain Lookout Road
    • Creekside Road
    • Timber Lane
  • Please, only emergency and local resident vehicle traffic in the areas of bobtail and bobtail cutoff, pipe creek, and Kootenai River Road.
  • The West Fork and Mount Tom fires grew together last night. The fires in future will be referred to as the West Fork Fire. Firefighters will be working on USFS 600 constructing fire line and improving the road as a containment line. Dozers and other heavy equipment will be working north of the Bobtail Community connecting dozer lines to construct indirect containment lines, which will later be used to conduct burnout operations. The structure defense group will be providing point protection and evaluating values a risk.
  • Shelter: Libby Assembly of God Church, 105 Collins Ave.
  • Stage 2 Fire Restrictions are in effect within the Kootenai National Forest, State and Private Lands, as well as Lincoln and Sanders County.
  • 21 evacs – 17 Mile Community of Pipe Creek Road
    38 evacs – Upper Bobtail Road
    18 evacs – McGinnis Meadows
  • Fire information meetings: Meeting for residents in the Bighorn Terrace, Rawlings Tracks, Quartz Creek and Lower Bobtail areas, including Indian Pipe Rd and Burrell, for an update on the West Fork Fire. Wednesday, Sept. 6 at 7PM at the Libby Christian Church.
  • Fisher River: Friday, Sept. 8 at 6 PM at the Thompson Lake Baptist Camp (593 ACM Rd) for updates on the Moose Peak Fire.

Liberty Fire (Arlee)

  • Location: 17 miles southeast of Arlee
  • Size: 26,086 acres
  • Containment: 17 percent
  • No evacuation warnings or orders are in effect at this time.