U.S. Forest Service Orders Evacuations in Parts of Mineral, Missoula Counties
Lightning sparked a fire that ignited Thursday in the Ninemile Ranger District. It’s grown to 2,900 acres since then. The fire is located about 15 miles southwest of Tarkio, west of Missoula. Here's the press release from NBC Montana:
Start date: August 14, 2015 Location: Approximately 15 miles southwest of Tarkio, MT Cause: Lightning Total Personnel: Approximately 110 personnel Current Size: Approximately 2,921 acres Containment: 0% Closures: The Area Closure for this fire extends from Schley Mountain, to the east of Clearwater Crossing Trailhead, north to Quartz Creek and west to the Superior Ranger District border and the Idaho/Montana border. The closure includes the Schley Trailhead, the Clearwater Crossing Trailhead and Campground, and St. Patrick Peak Trail. Evacuations: Stage 3 evacuations are in place by the Mineral County Sheriff's office for all of Fish Creek Road from I-90 to the Mineral / Missoula county border line, Lower Fish Creek along I-90, Quartz, McFarland, Rivulet, and Cyr Bridge. For more information, please call Mineral County Sheriff's office: (406)258-3555. Preliminary evacuation notice is in effect along Petty Creek Road in Missoula County. Please contact Missoula County Sheriff’s office and Department of Emergency Services at (406)258-3632. Resources Threatened: Private homes and cabins in the Fish Creek drainage and at the Hole in the Wall Ranch. Lolo National Forest Developed Recreation sites including Clearwater Crossing Campground. Current Status: John Thompson’s Type 2 Incident Management Team assumed command of the West Fork Fish Creek Fire Friday evening, August 28th at 6:00 p.m. Ninemile Ranger District personnel, along with local firefighters continued to work with incoming resources throughout the evening. Firefighters were disengaged from direct suppression efforts around 4:00 p.m due to safety concerns during increased fire activity in the afternoon winds. Hose lays and sprinklers are in place to protect some structures as a precaution in the Clearwater Crossing area. Planned Actions: Reconnaissance will be occurring this morning to provide updated information on the fire perimeter and size. The Lewis and Clark Hot shots will be assessing the Quartz and McFarland areas for structure protection needs. A structure protection group will continue to assess and support the Fish Creek area. Firefighters will be ready to disengage at a moment’s notice during the anticipated afternoon weather. Weather: Extreme fire conditions are expected today as a cold frontal passage makes its way through the area sometime late afternoon or early evening. There is a slight chance of showers associated with the cold front. Today’s fire weather coupled with dry fuels will create very active fire behavior. The Lolo National Forest entered Stage II Fire Restrictions as of August 28, 2015.