Several people have asked me how to do nice things for the folks working the Hay Creek Fire. Here’s the word from Diane Sine, the Fire Information Officer . . .
“There will be a fire camp set up by the West Glacier KOA starting tomorrow [July 27], and that would be the place folks could drop off any goodies. Everyone working up the North Fork will either be sleeping there or showing up there for briefings, whether day crews or night crews.”
“Firefighters also always appreciate thank you signs or posters, if that’s the sort of thing that anyone would enjoy making. In addition, if folks ever want to recognize firefighters, the organizations we steer them toward are their local volunteer fire departments and https://wffoundation.org/.”
On Sunday the fire continued to back all the way down to the Hay Creek Road in several areas. The fire was most active on the west flank with isolated and group torching, and short wind-driven crown runs. Spot fires south of the Hay Creek Road were cooled down by bucket drops from a Type 1 helicopter.
The fire is anticipated to be active again today with the potential for large volumes of smoke from the west flank. A task force of heavy equipment will continue work to widen existing roads to connect past silvicultural forest treatments and build contingency lines. Firefighters will work to hold the Hay Creek Road and continue work with the Sheriff’s Department to identify needs and strengthen plans for structure protection.
The Flathead County Sheriff’s department has expanded the phased Evacuation Warning to include all residences east and west of the North Fork Road from Home Ranch Bottoms up to and including Moose Creek Road and the community of Polebridge. Glacier National Park has issued an Evacuation Warning for the North Fork area of Glacier National Park north of Logging Creek. See details at https://go.usa.gov/xFjcA and Current Fire Information – Glacier National Park.
Road and trail closures have been put in place and have been expanded. See details at Inciweb: https://go.usa.gov/xFjcC.
We just got a note from the fire team about some critical fire weather coming up. It looks like conditions may kick off Monday afternoon, with high temperatures and elevated winds. Looks like maybe some thunderstorms next week, too.
Calmer winds led to less fire spread on Saturday. The fire slowly backed down to the Hay Creek Road. Two helicopters dropped water to help control fire spread, including on a new spot fire of lower intensity. Existing roads and timber units were tied together with dozer line to provide additional protection in the area of the Moran Basin Road #5241.
Today, resources will continue to reinforce shaded fuel breaks and use heavy equipment to tie together existing roads and fuel breaks to limit future fire growth. Crews will identify needs for possible structure protection.
The Hay Creek fire grew to over 1,006 acres Friday afternoon and is currently 4 miles west of Polebridge. The fire is burning in heavy decadent timber on steep slopes of the Hay Creek and South Fork Red Meadow drainages. Single and group tree torching, short-range spotting, and short crown runs occurred throughout the afternoon. This moderate fire behavior combined with the heavy timber fuel type resulted in substantial smoke production. The fire is more active on drier south-facing slopes and under wind influence, but moderates on north-facing slopes. Today firefighting resources including heavy equipment and hand-crews will continue brushing out roads and improving fuel breaks on the Hay Creek, Red Meadow, and Spruce Creek Roads.
The Flathead County Sheriff’s department issued 20 pre-evacuation notices to structures in the vicinity of the Hay Creek Fire on Wednesday, July 22. See details at Inciweb: July 22, 2021 Evacuation Warning
As of this morning (July 24), the size of the Hay Creek Fire is estimated at about 1000 acres (405ha). This image from the Montana DNRC’s Interactive Wildland Fire Map website shows the fire boundary in context with the nearby area . . .
Please note that there is a community meeting Saturday, July 24th at 6:00PM. The meeting will take place at the Sondreson Community Hall parking lot.
Resources on scene observed active fire behavior through the night. The fire is burning in the Hay Creek drainage in the North Fork of the Flathead National Forest and is being managed for full suppression. Due to safety concerns associated with steep terrain, thick timber, and current fuel conditions, fire managers are using indirect tactics. Today firefighters will continue brushing out roads and improving fuel breaks on the Hay Creek, Red Meadow, and Spruce Creek Roads, as assessing the need for future structure protection
Fire command transitioned to a Type 3 Incident Management Team 6am Friday morning, July 23, 2021.
EVACUATIONS / STRUCTURES THREATENED
The Flathead County Sheriff’s department issued 20 pre-evacuation notices to structure in vicinity of the Hay Creek Fire on Wednesday. See associated pre-evacuation notice.