Flathead National Forest Fire Update for July 31, 2023

Red Meadow Fire, July 19, 2023

Things are getting busy. Here’s the latest fire update for the Flathead National Forest

(Also, Glacier NP has a new one above Bowman Lake, estimated at 0.5 acres. I noticed the lightening strike yesterday evening, right across the river from our place.)

Kalispell, MT, July 31, 2023 — A dry lightning storm overnight between July 29 and July 30 caused an increase in fire starts on the Flathead National Forest. 17 fires have been reported since the lightning storm and firefighters are investigating smoke reports and conducting initial attack.

The largest new fires are the Kah Mountain and Bruce fires on the Spotted Bear Ranger District. These two are being combined with two smaller starts into the Tin Soldier Complex. Firefighting crews are responding with initial attack and a Type 3 Incident Management Team has been ordered to take command of the Tin Soldier Complex, estimated at 80-100 acres. Spotted Bear Ranger District has seven reported fires at this time. Alcove and Stadium Creek Fires are in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. The 0.5-acre Elam Fire is along the West Side Road on the Hungry Horse Reservoir and firefighters have constructed containment lines around the perimeter.

The Hungry Horse-Glacier View Ranger District has nine reported fires, one of which is in controlled and two are now contained, including the 0.10-acre fire near Lion Lake reported this morning July 31.

The Logan Fire is contained and is approximately 0.10 acre, located in timber with an active timber sale to the south. Aerial resources delivered buckets of water this morning, slowing the fire spread in support of the firefighters who successfully constructed containment line around the fire.

The Doris Point Fire is estimated at 0.5 acre and is burning on 80-90% slope in thick timber and vegetation with prevalent large-diameter dead trees.  Fire personnel were able to approach the fire on Sunday but the risk to firefighter safety is very high due to the fire’s location. Fire personnel are working to evaluate opportunities and suppression plans that prioritize safety and probability of success.

The Ridge Fire is estimated at 20-30 acres, actively backing down towards Embry drainage in mature timber with high quantities of both dead and down trees and standing dead snags. This is a full suppression fire and fire personnel are assessing control features, utilizing old logging roads. Heavy equipment has been ordered to support firefighting efforts.

The Abbot Fire is a single tree snag burning less than half a mile from the Ridge fire and has been incorporated into the Ridge Fire response strategy.

The Emery Fire is estimated at 0.10 south of the ridge fire and is successfully controlled.

Currently, there are no fire-related area or road closures on the Flathead National Forest.