(GREAT FALLS) The Brownstone Fire in the Bob Marshall Wilderness has now burned an estimated 1,086 acres.
It was detected on August 2nd, and was ignited by lightning on July 28th. There have been no injuries, and the fire has not damaged or threatened any buildings or structures. There is no containment at this point, according to Inciweb.
On August 8th, the fire moved through most of upper Brownstone Creek and to the southeast. The fire burned into and through a high elevation bowl at the head of Francois Creek along the Flathead Alps. The fire progressed approximately halfway across the head of Francois Creek. A spot fire was observed on the divide between Francois and Cayuse Creek. With the current weather conditions, additional growth in upper Francois and Cayuse Creek is expected.
Minimal movement down Brownstone Creek to the west occurred. Despite the active day yesterday no smoke was observed in Sandstone Creek, no new spots were observed in the South Fork of the White, and existing spots in the White have not grown.
Firefighters will continue to monitor the spread of the fire with ground and aerial resources. Ground resources will be in place with equipment at the Big Prairie Work Center. There are no closures to report at this point.
The Garden Creek Fire that's burning near the town of Hot Springs west of Polson has burned an estimated 1,842 acres, and is 5% contained as of Thursday.
The fire was sparked by lightning on July 29th, and is being managed by a local Type 3 Incident Management Team. It is located two miles north of the town of Hot Springs and is burning on Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes land and the Lolo National Forest in timber, along steep, rocky, rugged terrain.
According to Inciweb, the fire grew substantially over the last 24 hours. Most of the growth has been on the south/southeast perimeter. The north lines are holding. One structure on the HS-5000 Road was evacuated and firefighters burned out around the house. The fire is one half mile from the structure. The structure has been secured. There are 180 fire personnel assigned to the incident.
On Wednesday, along the southeast flank, spot fires crossed containment lines in several locations during the day. The slop-overs on the southeast flank became the focus of the firefighters’ efforts into the night and early morning. Firefighters took an opportunity to make progress on these slop-overs during the night with the lower temperatures and higher humidity. The Type 3 Management Team also took advantage of the fuel treatments to the east of the fire, as the fire behavior was much more manageable in these treatment areas.
With the continuing trend of warmer temperatures and lower humidity, fire managers anticipate fire activity to increase. Crews will construct and improve confinement lines on the south flank. Once those lines are in, the hand crews will conduct a burnout to secure those lines. Helicopters and equipment will continue to drop water and aid with hot spots.
CS&KT road closures- The following roads are closed until further notice. The HS-4000 road, HS-5000 road, HS-1000 road at the HS-5030 junction to the north of the fire and the HS-1000 road at the McGinnis road junction to the south of the fire.