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Spotted Eagle/ Family Peak Complex Fire Updates 8-29-15 2:30pm

PUBLIC INFORMATION MEETING 4PM TODAY AT THE ACA COMPLEX, 80 HEART BUTTE ROAD, BROWNING.

The Spotted Eagle fire started in remote, heavy timber; actively burning in upper Lonesome Creek drainage in the Badger Creek area of the Lewis and Clark National Forest. On August 28, 2015, the fire expanded and crossed the Forest boundary and onto the Blackfeet Reservation west-northwest of Heart Butte, Montana. The fire was being managed as part of the Family Peak Complex.

This USFS map detail shows the location of the Spotted Eagle Fire, in relation to Heart Butte, as of mid-day Saturday.

The town of Heart Butte and surrounding Badger Creek areas north to Palookaville road have been ordered to evacuate as of August 28. An evacuation shelter has been set up by the Blackfeet Nation and American Red Cross Montana Chapter at 80 Heart Butte Road in Browning. Anyone who needs shelter is welcome, and all services are free. When possible, evacuees should bring personal items such as prescriptions, medications, personal documents, extra clothing and bedding, items for children and babies, and any other special items.

Family Peak Complex Fires:

Size and location: Consists of 4 fires totaling 941 acres in the southern Badger-Two Medicine area, north and west of Swift Reservoir

· Spotted Eagle – 698 acres in remote, heavy timber; actively burning in upper Lonesome Creek drainage

· Mt. Poia – 203 acres in heavy timber surrounded by rock

· Muskrat Pass – 40 acres in steep, remote heavy timber. Spotted across Continental Divide.

· Haywood Creek – 0.2 acres about 1 mile east of NF boundary

Activity: The Family Peak fires are burning in steep, inaccessible terrain. Personnel are monitoring these fires and providing information and ensuring safety of forest visitors in the area. Risk to firefighters to actively engage these fires is very high and resources are needed elsewhere to manage fires threatening structures and property. The Family Peak Complex fires are being monitored; use of aircraft to do so may be limited due to needs on other fires, and due to low visibility as a result of accumulated smoke from fires in WA, OR, ID, and MT.
Additional Fires Burning in the area on the Rocky Mountain Ranger District

Sheep Mountain Fire

Size and location: Estimated 70-100 acres, approximately 5 miles west of K-L Guest Ranch at head of Gibson Reservoir.

Activity: Detected afternoon of Aug. 26, actively burning in thick timber and heavy fuels. Very active fire behavior on 8/26 in thick timber and fuels, combined with lack of safety zones or escape routes renders use of ground crews for direct attack not feasible. FS fire managers are coordinating with K-L owners to set sprinklers for protection of ranch perimeter. Fire personnel are assisting with structure protection at the K-L Ranch and the Fish & Game Cabin, and additional fire management actions should they become feasible.

 

Moose Ridge Fires

Size and location: Estimated 210 acres total, in Moose Ridge and Red Shale Creek areas west of the North Fork Sun River

· Moose Ridge 1 – Estimated 150 acres, actively burning on east edge 8/26 and 8/27

· Moose Ridge 3 – relatively inactive, not visible through area smoke 8/26

· Moose Ridge 2 – Estimated 60-70 acres, not very active afternoon of 8/26

· Red Shale, Miner’s Creek –no recent activity; visibility difficult through area smoke

Activity: These fires are burning within remote wilderness, where structures and property are not at immediate risk. Risk to firefighters to actively engage these fires is very high; resources are needed elsewhere to manage fires threatening structures and property. Structure protection is installed at Gates Park and Cabin Creek cabins. The Moose Ridge Fires are being monitored; use of aircraft to do so may be limited due to needs on other fires, and due to low visibility as a result of accumulated smoke from fires in WA, OR, ID, and MT.

USFS map of fires, closures in the Bob Marshall and Badger-Two Medicine Wilderness areas.

There are numerous backcountry and trail closures in the Bob Marshall Complex. This situation continues to evolve as fires grow. Anyone seeking information regarding entering or traveling through this area should contact the appropriate Ranger District for current information.

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