The East Fork Fire burning 12 miles south of Trego in Lincoln County has grown to an estimated 4,600 acres and is 15% contained as of Saturday, August 19, 2023.
Mandatory evacuation orders issued by the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office on Friday remain in effect for residents along the U.S. Highway 93 corridor. The evacuations are in effect between Stryker and Olney. The evacuation issued along the Good Creek Road corridor also remains in effect.
A community meeting to discuss the East Fork Fire will be held at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Trego Elementary School.
According to the Saturday update, fire growth was less than anticipated on Friday so the eastern perimeter of the East Fork Fire did not reach the trigger point that had been established on Thursday. Helicopters and fixed-wing air tankers were able to support the suppression efforts on Friday morning.
Humidity has increased in the area with fire managers noting that will help the efforts to battle the blaze. Additionally, a heavy layer of smoke has moved in over the area from some wildfires burning in Canada which will limit aircraft operations on Saturday.
The Northern Rockies Team 6 Incident Management Team took command of the fire at 6 a.m. on Saturday. There are 339 people assigned to the lightning-sparked East Fork Fire.
The American Red Cross has established a shelter in Columbia Falls. People who plan to use the shelter are asked to contact the Red Cross prior to arrival at 1-800-733-2767.
There are no reports of any injuries.
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