GREAT FALLS — Following two new human-caused fire starts, the Rocky Mountain Ranger District, and the entirety of the Scapegoat Wilderness on the Lincoln Ranger District, returned to Stage 1 fire restrictions on Sunday, October 17.
“Our district is working to contain the Crown Mountain Fire and yesterday, we received reports of two new human-caused starts, putting us at 6 human-caused starts on the district in the last month,” said Rocky Mountain District Ranger Mike Munoz in a news release. “It is disappointing to have to return to Stage 1 fire restrictions in October, and this is not something we take lightly.”
These two new fires are located southwest of Augusta on the Rocky Mountain Front.
The Elk Creek Fire, initially sized up at one acre around 11:20 a.m. on Saturday, October 16, is located within the Sawmill drainage near the forest boundary. A Type 1 helicopter, a Type 3 helicopter, and a hotshot crew, with assistance from the Augusta Volunteer Fire Department, helped contain it at 1.5 acres by lining it with water hose lay.
A few hours later at 2:38 p.m., the Falls Creek Fire was called in and is located in the West Fork Falls Creek just south of the Dearborn corridor. Air attack sized the fire up at 10 acres and as of the evening of October 16 a Type 1 helicopter, a Type 3 helicopter, 2 large air tankers, and a hotshot crew were working to contain it. The fire is estimated to be approximately four miles from structures.
There have been no injuries reported.
A red flag warning will be in effect through Sunday afternoon; fire officials ask that people be mindful of dry conditions and activities that carry fire risk. Please also be aware of increased fire traffic Dearborn corridor and avoid the area, if possible.
Pursuant to 16 U.S.C. § 551 and Title 36 C.F.R. § 261.50 (a) and (b), the following acts are prohibited within all National Forest System lands described in this Order (the “Restricted Area”) on the Rocky Mountain & Lincoln Ranger Districts of the Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest:
1. Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove fires. [36 C.F.R. § 261.52(a)]
2. Smoking. except within an enclosed vehicle or building. a developed recreation site
All National Forest System lands, roads, and trails within the boundary of the Rocky Mountain Ranger District, and the entirety of the Scapegoat Wilderness on the Lincoln Ranger District on the Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest.