UPDATE: New Wildfires Reported in Glacier Park, East of Bigfork
GLACIER NATIONAL PARK -- There is now a third fire burning in Glacier National Park. The North Camas Fire was detected in the upper Camas Creek drainage high on the north ridge of Heavens Peak around 7:00 pm on Sunday, evening. The fire is in very steep, inaccessible terrain and is estimated at 8 acres as of mid-day Monday. Glacier National Park fire managers are closely monitoring the fire, but say its location at a high elevation with sparse fuels is expected to limit the potential for fire spread.
An aerial reconnaissance flight over the Quartz Fire on Monday showed limited growth and burning of previously unburned fuel. Isolated group tree torching was again observed at the southwest corner of the fire. The Quartz Fire is estimated to be 1709 acres on Monday. A crew will continue to be staged at the Quartz Lake Cabin reinforcing structure protection and patrolling the Quartz Fire throughout the week.
The Flat Mineral Fire, located in the Flattop Mountain area above Mineral Creek in Glacier National Park, has had no smoke or visible activity in the past four days.
BIGFORK -- Another new addition to the InciWeb interagency database is The Margaret Fire, which was detected by aircraft on August 22 on the ridge north of Margaret Lake, 13 miles east of Big Fork. The fire because more active over the Labor Day weekend. The smoke column was visible at times from the Flathead Valley and from the Hungry Horse Reservoir. An Infrared (IR) Mapping flight mapped the fire at approximately 186 acres as of Monday.
BOB MARSHALL WILDERNESS -- The Ursus Fire had been quietly holding at 8 acres from the time it was discovered on August 25th, until Labor Day, when it blew up. It is burning on the south side of Rapid Creek at the base of Ursus Hill, approximately 1.5 miles up the Rapid Creek drainage. The fire is located in the Bob Marshall Wilderness on the Spotted Bear Ranger District.
An Infrared Mapping flight reported the fire at 23 acres at 1:30pm Monday afternoon, but by 6:00pm, the fire was estimated at 1,580 acres. The fire is spreading to the east; sustained crown runs and spotting have been observed by Jumbo Lookout and members of the Spotted Bear Wildland Fire Module (WFM). The Ursus Fire will reach the 2012 Elbow Pass burn scar near the head of Rapid Creek if it continues to burn toward the east, which should act as a buffer to slow the spread of the fire in that direction.
Procedures are being implemented implemented by the Spotted Bear Ranger District to protect the Danaher and Basin Cabin sites and to prevent the spread of the wildfire outside of the Wilderness. Personnel from the Spotted Bear WFM were inserted into the area on 9/2/2022. They have begun structure protection operations by installing sprinklers at the Danaher Cabin.
Two other fires have been burning in the Bob since early August. The larger of the two is the 1433-acre Cannon Fire, which is located 15 miles northeast of Condon. As of Monday (9-5-22) the fire activity has picked up since the last rain event. The fire is currently most active along the western flank near the bowls below Swan Mountain. There is a significant fire history in the surrounding area that will affect fire spread.
Nearby, the Dean Creek Fire, 30 miles east of Swan Lake, has grown to 474 acres, adding about 100 acres since Saturday. The fire is currently most active on its southwest corner.Over the Labor Day weekend, two firefighters were sent to the site to monitor the fire, and start the sprinkler system at the Pentagon Cabin site if needed.
MARION -- The lightning-caused Lemonade Fire has grown by a few dozen acres over the past 24 hours, and now covers 593 acres on the Flathead National Forest, 21 miles northwest of Kalispell. Incident command reports that a heavy equipment task force and hand crews continue to make progress constructing firelines on the southeast and east sides of the fire, working north.
On the northwest perimeter, the fire has been significantly slowed in areas where slash treatment has been done in timber harvest areas. These treated areas are moderating fire behavior and helping considerably with the suppression efforts. Fire managers will seek opportunities to use heavy equipment to construct lines connecting timber plantations and other treated areas.
Yesterday air tankers conducted retardant drops on the southwest side of the fire to help slow the fire's spread. Air resources, including helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, will continue to support firefighters as needed. In all, 157 firefighters are assigned to this fire.
MONARCH -- The Deep Creek Fire, in the northeast corner of the Little Belt Mountains, has been downsized from 75 acres to 37 acres, and is 70% contained. Fire personnel were able to use aerial resources on the fire to help reduce fire growth. There are currently 62 personnel assigned to the incident which includes 1 helicopter, 4 engines, and 1 hand-crew.
SULA -- The Trail Ridge fire is currently burning on 2842- acres along the border of the Beaverhead-Deerlodge and Bitterroot National Forests in the 2000 Mussigbrod Fire burn area. Reports from Fire Personnel indicate they are seeing one snag tree coming down about every 3 minutes. Due to the heavy dead/down timber, and standing dead snags, Firefighters have identified safe, successful strategies to operate outside of the burn scars, using man-made features such as roads and trails as well as natural features for potential containment lines.
MISSOULA -- The Solomon Fire is burning southeast of Missoula, MT in the Welcome Creek Wilderness on the Missoula Ranger District. It is located approximately 6 miles south of Interstate 90/Rock Creek Exit #126, near Solomon Mountain.
The 300-acre lightning-caused fire continues to be active in the afternoons due to persistent hot, dry, and breezy conditions and low relative humidity. The fire is burning steadily, with firefighters reporting occasional single and group tree torching, short-range spotting, and short up-hill runs. The location of the fire is in steep and thickly timbered terrain with snags, or hazard trees, making up about half of the standing fuel and is surrounded to the south, east, and west by the 2007 Sawmill Fire burned area.. Fire growth has been observed primarily on the north side of Solomon Mountain and is typically between 50-75 acres of new growth per day, slowly moving to the north and east.
The terrain, fuel type, and the presence of snag trees limit the ability to place firefighters directly on the fire. Firefighter and public safety is the top priority when assessing this engagement. No structures or infrastructure are currently threatened. Firefighters and engines will be actively patrolling the Rock Creek Corridor. Firefighters are also patrolling the fire from the air. A helicopter may be used as needed to check and limit fire spread.