Monday, September 25, 2017
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Tag Archives: wildland fire

Revisiting Fire History Studies

One of the cornerstones of current forest policy is the assumption that Western forests are outside of their normal density and appearance or what is termed “historic variability.” But a new look at fire history studies may challenge that assumption.

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Where There’s Smoke, There’s …

It's awfully smoky around here this afternoon and we've been trying to track down where all this is coming from. All the fire camps around here are reporting a calm afternoon so far. That leads us to think much of it is coming from across the Idaho state line. UPDATE: Turns out, much of this smoke is coming from a 500-acre burnout that successfully joined the two I-90 Fires this afternoon.

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Crews Continue to Protect Houses near Alberton, Make Progress

  Photo by Scott Poniewaz/New West
Crews on the I-90 Fires west of Missoula continued Monday afternoon and evening to try to secure the line around the east end of the West Mountain Fire to keep it from backing into the 10 buildings in an adjacent drainage.

Fire officials were also expecting to get some retardant and water drops in on that east flank and the Frenchtown Rural Fire Department crews were sprinkling the buildings and prepping them for the oncoming fire.

Update: Fire information officer Pat Cross said crews made good progress Monday afternoon in the absence of some high winds earlier predicted for the area. "It's been a much calmer day than yesterday," he said. Burning did pick up in areas, namely into the rugged terrain north of the West Mountain and Tarkio Fires.

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Crews Continue Battling Blazes West of Missoula, Interstate 90 Opens

  Photo of I-90 Fire by Chris Lombardi/New West
Hundreds of firefighters are out working on the now four fires west of Missoula near Alberton. Fire officials now estimate the blazes total about 3,300 acres and they're growing.

Meanwhile, the Lolo National Forest is also dealing with a new start in its Superior Ranger District, the Prospect Fire, which quickly grew to about 80 acres while smokejumpers were called in for initial attack today. By early evening it was about 350 acres and spotting one mile out in front of the fire -- moving pretty fast. A Type II team has been ordered for tomorrow.

Update: Officals reopened all four lanes of I-90 as of 2 p.m. today, but warn there still may be some delays and decreased speed limits. The Clark Fork River remains closed to all activities.

Click on "more" below for more updates.

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