New Mexico, Idaho and Montana have had their wildfire troubles this season, while Utah, Wyoming and Colorado have been relatively fortunate.
In Montana, almost 100,000 acres have been burned this summer in 19 areas. A meeting will be held tonight concerning one of the latest incidents, the West Riverside fire, which has consumed 3,400 acres and is about 20 percent contained.
Population protection near Bonner, Mont., will be the topic of today’s meeting, at 6:30 p.m. in the Bonner School gymnasium.
The West Riverside fire, which began Aug. 22, moved into the heavily timbered, upper reaches of the Marshall Creek drainage yesterday. More than 500 firefighters are using retardant and water drops from helicopters, while continuing to patrol the lower elevations, at Johnson Creek, where the fire is burning down toward control lines.
The three-fire Diamond Complex in Custer National Forest less than 30 miles from Ashland, Mont., has been the state’s largest fire area this season. The blazes, which began Aug. 21 and are now 80 percent contained, have affected about 50,000 acres.
New Mexico has had the worst fire problems among the Rocky Mountain states. About 488,000 acres have burned in 11 areas.
The 157,000-acre Los Conchas Fire in the Santa Fe National Fores near Los Alamos, which began in June, is the largest in the state’s history.
It is now contained and emergency rehabilitation work is essentially complete. The human-caused fire destroyed 63 residences and injured 15 people.
The human-caused Wallow Fire burned about 15,000 acres on New Mexico’s Fort Apache Indian Reservation and more than 522,000 acres in Arizona. It resulted in 16 injuries to people and destroyed 32 homes.
In Idaho, more than 235,000 acres have suffered from wildfires in 18 areas, the most recent of which, in the Salmon-Challis National Forest, is still being assessed.
In contrast, Utah has experienced only six incidents covering 6,636 acres.
Six areas of fire are active in Wyoming, covering about 33,000 acres. The largest is the 19,000-acre Norton Point Fire, started by lightning July 22 in the Shoshone National Forest near Dubois, Wyo.
Colorado has experienced eight incidents affecting a total of about 35,000 acres.
For the latest closure details, information, maps and photos, visit the interagency Incident Information System website.