Montana Outdoors

July 30, 2017

Western Montana’s newest fire:

Filed under: Forest fires — Tags: — montucky @ 9:25 pm

Forest fire

Forest fire

This plume of smoke burst on the scene some time between one and four o’clock this afternoon. I drove down to check its location and found that the fire is about ten miles beyond the mountain range in the photo, putting it about 30 miles away. For more perspective, the peak in the center of the photo is about 6,800 in elevation (4,400 feet above the level of the river in the foreground). With the current high temperatures, extremely dry conditions and present wind velocity it will quickly become a very big fire.

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35 Comments »

  1. Has it been named yet? I took a look at InciWeb, but nothing there seemed a likely candidate for this one: everything seemed to be an ongoing a problem. Any my gosh — don’t you have them. It really is far worse than i realized.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by shoreacres — July 30, 2017 @ 9:53 pm

    • I doubt that anyone knew about this one until it blew up this afternoon. I happened to look closely at that area at about one this afternoon and there was no trace of a problem: the photo was taken at about five. It usually takes several days before it gets on InciWeb or even the regional news. I am somewhat familiar with the area where this appears to be burning and it is a very rugged, heavily forested area with very little road access.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — July 30, 2017 @ 10:09 pm

  2. Yikes.

    Like

    Comment by Malcolm R. Campbell — July 30, 2017 @ 10:51 pm

    • It’s scary to see how quickly a fire can become huge when forest conditions are as they are now.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — July 30, 2017 @ 11:03 pm

  3. Hoping that this is dealt with soon! That looks like a massive fire.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Jo Woolf — July 31, 2017 @ 2:14 am

    • Unless I miss my guess, this fire will be extinguished only by the snows of early winter.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — July 31, 2017 @ 7:49 am

      • Oh goodness! I hope it does not pose any threat to you. I am guessing it is a regular occurrence and part of the seasonal cycle.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Jo Woolf — July 31, 2017 @ 8:43 am

        • Wildfires are part of the summer cycle in these forests. This looks as though it will be an exceptionally large one. I don’t think it will be a threat to this local area and there is no population near it, but who knows how far it will travel.

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by montucky — July 31, 2017 @ 9:19 am

  4. That’s a massive plume of smoke. Hope fire fighters will be able to contain it, but with your description of how thickly forested it is, maybe it will become much larger than locals might anticipate.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Vicki — July 31, 2017 @ 2:26 am

    • I’m sure by now that the Forest Service folks have a very good idea of what they will be dealing with. One of the biggest problems now is that there are so many fires burning that resources are spread very thin. The last fire that I saw with a smoke plume that large that early was the Chippy Creek fire in 2007 which ended up burning 150 square miles.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — July 31, 2017 @ 8:17 am

  5. Good morning. Just saw this post. I’m not quite sure where your location is (I’m up near Noxon). Went to the ESRI website (http://www.esri.com/services/disaster-response/wildfire) to see if I could figure out the location of this fire and don’t see it. Can you better identify the location? tucsonbil

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Bill Arnold — July 31, 2017 @ 5:25 am

    • Good morning Bill. All I have been able to see is the smoke plume. The peak in the photos is Patrick’s Knob, just to the south of Plains. I drove down to Hwy 135 (the cutoff from Hwy 200 to S Regis) and found that the fire is to the south of that which would put it somewhere in the high country to the east of Siegel Creek, I would guess in the South Siegel Roadless area five to ten miles south of Patrick’s Knob. It has died down during the night, but I’m sure it will be very visible again by noon.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — July 31, 2017 @ 8:00 am

  6. If there is no danger to human population will they do anything about it? I’ve been reading that the thinking these days is that it’s part of the natural cycle of the forest to have these fires. In Oregon they’ve started experimenting with controlled burns in forests like they’re already doing in prairies.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Pat — July 31, 2017 @ 6:52 am

    • The Forest Service has been doing controlled burns in this area for many years. The big difference is that they can do that when and where the weather and fire conditions will permit it to be done safely. My guess is that this fire will be big enough that they will have to try to stop its spread through a huge area of prime timber and to keep the size down enough that it won’t go too far.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — July 31, 2017 @ 8:11 am

      • Ouch! Kudos to the guys that fight these things. A wildfire is a very dangerous beast.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Pat — July 31, 2017 @ 8:24 am

        • Yes, they deserve more credit than they get. I have been on the fire lines myself many times and so I understand what it’s like. I suspect this one will see some air attacks today.

          Liked by 2 people

          Comment by montucky — July 31, 2017 @ 8:33 am

  7. It has been a terrible year for forest fires. I’m sorry to see any fires in your beautiful part of the country.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by wordsfromanneli — July 31, 2017 @ 8:58 am

    • Yes, it has already been very bad, but most have been small. This one has the potential to be very big.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — July 31, 2017 @ 9:20 am

  8. That looks bad. Is it a natural fire or did someone start it deliberately?

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Val — July 31, 2017 @ 9:00 am

    • This fire is so new that there has been no news at all about it yet. I would expect it to be from natural causes because it is in a quite remote location. There have been a lot of lightning-caused fires lately. The forests are so dry and it has been so very hot, that a dry thunderstorm may start multiple fires that don’t really appear for days after the storm.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — July 31, 2017 @ 9:25 am

      • Does anyone live near it, or near where it’s likely to spread, though?

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Val — July 31, 2017 @ 9:35 am

        • From what I can tell now, it isn’t an immediate threat to anyone. I hope it stays that way!

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by montucky — July 31, 2017 @ 9:47 am

  9. I hope it’s not a threat to your area. They can get big fast!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — July 31, 2017 @ 2:49 pm

    • I don’t see it as a threat to any populated area fortunately, but we’ll see what the weather will do with it.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — July 31, 2017 @ 2:58 pm

  10. Om my… I cannot imagine seeing it live.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Sartenada — August 1, 2017 @ 12:10 am

    • It is an awesome sight. It makes a person feel very small.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — August 1, 2017 @ 6:57 am

  11. Great photographs but I hope the fire is maintained soon. That’s one positive about NH, we don’t have wildfires.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by heartandsoul974 — August 1, 2017 @ 4:02 am

    • That fire will burn for a long time. It is one of about 25 burning in Montana now.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — August 1, 2017 @ 6:58 am

      • Wow, that’s scary for homeowners. Isn’t it strange how a forest fire can bring renewed life?

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by heartandsoul974 — August 1, 2017 @ 11:53 am

        • It appears that the homes will be protected but the rest of the fire will be very difficult to bring under control.
          Fires have always been part of the ecosystem and there are some plants that depend on them, for example the Lodgepole Pine.

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by montucky — August 1, 2017 @ 12:06 pm

  12. Hoping for rain and lots of it!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Julie@frogpondfarm — August 2, 2017 @ 1:40 pm

  13. I hope that this is almost contained by now.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Candace — August 3, 2017 @ 5:22 pm

    • It is still only 5% contained, but they have sealed off most of the danger area near homes.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — August 3, 2017 @ 6:25 pm


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