Montana Outdoors

August 13, 2007

Chippy Creek fire, day 13

According to the latest news broadcast, the fire expanded by 4,000 acres yesterday and may do about the same again tonight. 70,000 acres or 109 square miles have burned so far, 4.7 million dollars has been spent to fight it, and it’s 30% contained. It’s the largest one in Montana at the time and there are now 525 personnel now working on it. The good news is that it looks like the homes in its path to the northeast have been saved!

These photos were taken at about 3 PM today of the southwest corner of the fire where it is crowning in heavy timber.

Chippy Creek fire

Chippy Creek fire

Depending on the weather, I plan to get more photos of this SW area in the morning from the Mount Baldy trail where I can look down on it and get a little better perspective.


  1. It’s nice to hear that the firefighters got the best of the part that is running towards the homes. That’s very cool. 4000 acres a day isn’t that amazing? That fire is really moving fast. I recall reading that the fire was the largest Montana has at the moment. Is it the largest it’s ever seen? (I once drove thru Yellowstone and that fire ate up miles of forest.) Once again Terry great shots. Your going to have quite a portfolio on this fire when they finally get this baby out.


    Comment by aullori — August 15, 2007 @ 12:24 am

  2. Lori,
    This fire is now over 77,000 acres, although after observing it yesterday I think that’s a very low estimate. It’s the largest going at the moment, but not the largest ever in Montana. The problem (to me) at the moment is that it is almost ignored. I couldn’t find any news on it at all this morning. The crowning a along the south border is immense and alarming. There is room to run there and maybe take care of some built up fuels, but at some point I think it needs to be at least slowed down.

    Yesterday I took another 50 photos of it and watched some small planes dropping slurry. Their tactics told me that they are probably going to do a massive back-fire today (if they didn’t do it last night).


    Comment by montucky — August 15, 2007 @ 7:29 am

  3. at least a little good news, in that those homes are safe.

    this really is going to be a great chronicle of the fire.


    Comment by silken — August 15, 2007 @ 8:06 am

  4. Well, they’re safe for now, but I finally saw an update on the news and the fire is still threatening 300 homes, although I think that number is quite high. The reporting on this fire has been very poor!


    Comment by montucky — August 15, 2007 @ 8:23 am

  5. I’ve looked online myself quite a few times and I rarely can get any info on the chippy creek fire. (Other than what you’ve mentioned.) In all fairness I remember being in that hole of darkness last year myself… we are too far away from a major city to count much. Out here (in the place we live) the way we find out the daily weather is to look at the sky first and the thermometer second. 🙂 The closest weather station is two mountain passes and about 71 miles away. Our local newspaper is weekly (or as Joe says weakly) so if we do get news it’s just about a week late. That isn’t to say your outrage is not founded just to let you know I do relate and yep, it really stinks.


    Comment by aullori — August 16, 2007 @ 10:06 pm

  6. It seems that we live in very similar situations. We’re bout 80 miles from a weather forecaster and also have a “weakly” paper. There are now 7 aircraft and over 600 personnel working this fire and outside of them it doesn’t look like anyone cares about it. This isn’t an area that provides a lot of contributions to political campaigns.


    Comment by montucky — August 16, 2007 @ 11:22 pm

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