Flathead NF: Two hot-spots along the ridgetop in last year’s Hay Creek burn; FNF is sending a ground crew in to check it out; initial report 30 July. (See image below.)
Kootenai NF: Weasel Fire (sometimes called “D3 Weasel”), on the east slope of a ridge to the west of Weasel Creek. It was about 7 acres in extent initially on 30 July, is now 13.50 acres, and is being handled by the Kootenai National Forest. According to Bill Fordyce, “The Kootenai has put a lot of resources on the Weasel Fire. It’s a 10 plus acres. Some of that area burned 5 or 6 years ago so there would be standing dead and down…”
Approximate position, according to Zoom Earth, of the two hotspots in last year’s Hay Creek burn. The nearest is about 6.5 miles west of Polebridge. We should know more once Flathead NF gets some people up there to look around…
(look for the kind of orangy glows near the left edge of the image. Those spots are *not* to scale, they just indicate rough positions!)
A note from Rob Davies, Hungry Horse-Glacier View District Ranger:
We will be initiating a contract next week in response to the large slash piles left from the Hay Creek Fire fuel breaks.
Plowing of the Red Meadow road will be allowed up to the Spruce Creek Road (about 2 miles) where that very large slash pile exists. The contractor will be grinding slash, loading into trucks and hauling back to town.
There are other slash plies up the Moose Creek Road that will also be ground up and hauled off.
The Moose Creek Road is already plowed, which shouldn’t create any issues, but the Red Meadow Road activity will create a situation where snowmobilers need to drive with their trailers up to the Spruce Creek road junction instead of parking at the bottom where the North Fork Road Connects to Red Meadow. A turn-around and small parking area will be plowed out at the junction of Red Meadow and Spruce Creek Roads.
Hauling is not expected to be very frequent — maybe two loads a day. Activity may occur all winter until the county sets load limits in the spring. We don’t know if the contractor will start at Moose Creek or Red Meadow Road but as I get more details I will share them with you.
Feel free to call myself (406-387-3801) or Timber Management Assistant Paul Donnellon (406 387-3807 or 406 260-7264), at the ranger station in Hungry Horse.
According to District Fire Management Officer Andy Huntsberger, there’s nothing going on with the Hay Creek Fire — not even any smoke. If you saw a helicopter buzzing around yesterday, it was picking up a radio communications repeater from Numa Peak that was used during firefighting efforts.
The evacuation warning for the Hay Creek Fire was lifted by the Flathead Country Sheriff on August 18, 2021. The current Type 3 incident management team will transition to a local Type 4 incident command from the Flathead National Forest on Saturday, August 21 at 0700. Hungry Horse-Glacier View Fire Management will maintain resources on the Hay Creek Fire for the foreseeable future. Crews will continue to cleanup and rehab the fire area.
The last public meeting was held on August 19. There are no more public meetings currently planned.
Here’s the latest Hay Creek Fire Public Information Map showing fire extent, closures and current evacuation zone boundaries . . .
Unless there’s a significant change in the fire’s status, this map will be updated much less often — if at all — as the Hay Creek Fire winds down. By August 21, Hay Creek Fire operations will be transferred to a local Type 4 team based out of the Hungry-Horse-Glacier View District. From that point, information on the fire will be coming directly from the Flathead National Forest.
On Saturday, August 21, management of the Hay Creek Fire will be transferred to a Type 4 organization from the Flathead National Forest. A community meeting will be held at the Sondreson Hall on Thursday, August 19th, at 6:00 pm.
Crews will continue to wrap up operations involved with fuel reduction along roads and contingency lines, and patrol and mop up hot spots as needed. The helibase has been moved from the Hay Creek Incident Base in
West Glacier to the Hungry Horse Ranger Station Helibase. Equipment and supplies are being removed from the fire.
The fire received a wetting rain and snow in the higher elevations on Tuesday. From this point on, Hay Creek Fire information will be updated only as there are changes in fire activity or area trail and road closures. For current information, please visit InciWeb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/7712/62192/.
Northwest Montana is in VERY HIGH fire danger; Stage 2 Fire Restrictions are in effect with campfires prohibited. Know Before You Go- Visit www.mtfireinfo.org for additional Montana fire restrictions.