Montana Outdoors

August 29, 2017

Wildfires at sunset

Filed under: Wildland fires — Tags: , — montucky @ 9:12 pm

Fire at sunset

So far this fire season the local area here has been relatively free from the fires. That changed rather abruptly late this evening when suddenly there were two, one about 20 miles to the north and one a little closer to the south.

Smoke plume

The fire to the north was behind a mountain range and all that could be seen from here was the helicopters ferrying water to it. This is the smoke plume from the one to the south.

Fire at sunset

This photo caught one of the helicopters as it began its vertical descent to the river to fill the water bucket that is trailing below it. I anticipate getting more photos as the fires progress. The one to the south appears to be burning in the Cherry Peak Roadless Area and my guess is that it will become a very large one.

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40 Comments »

  1. So you know if these fires are occurring in areas where underbrush and invasive trees have clogged up the forests and were a tinderbox waiting to happen?

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Malcolm R. Campbell — August 29, 2017 @ 10:46 pm

    • The older forests have few invasive trees and not a lot of underbrush but some have an over supply of dead trees. The problem now is two-fold: nature’s natural fire cycles have been prevented by suppression of every possible fire for nearly a hundred years, and the drought has created tinder-dry conditions everywhere in all of the forests. This year though most of the fires have been lightning strikes, not human caused as is usually the case: it could be even worse!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — August 30, 2017 @ 7:22 am

  2. Such a bad wildfire season – We’ve hardly had anything in the Black Hills this year, if we’ve had anything at all, but we’re getting the smoke!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Laura Elizabeth — August 29, 2017 @ 11:26 pm

    • This has been a very bad fire season. I have never in the past seen so many fires that threaten homes and force evacuations. The website InciWeb shows 38 active fires in Montana, but there are really many more than that and with every passing thunder storm there are more new ones.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — August 30, 2017 @ 7:25 am

  3. Even fire is beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by nvsubbaraman — August 30, 2017 @ 12:07 am

  4. Amazing in my eyes. I have never seen a wildfire.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Sartenada — August 30, 2017 @ 12:33 am

    • Wildfires are awesome to see, preferably from a safe distance. Unfortunately there have been far more than usual this year and the fire season is far from over. There are now over 40 in the state of Montana alone.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — August 30, 2017 @ 7:42 am

  5. I hope these fires don’t come anywhere near your home. What an awful fire season this has been.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by wordsfromanneli — August 30, 2017 @ 1:54 am

    • I think the area in which I live is safe so far, but it will be a long time before we get rain or snow to help. The one in the photo could threaten some homes if the wind conditions are bad. A friend who lives closer to it told me this morning that last night she could see flames over the top of the ridge which means it’s closer than we thought last night. I know the country up there very well and it’s usually one of the more moist forests but not this year.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — August 30, 2017 @ 7:45 am

      • We’re hoping that the clouds currently overhead will drop some rain on us, but the chance is very slim. After that, it’s back to the heat and drought. Terrible winter, spring and summer so far. What’s going on with our climate? I hope the fire stays out of range of your friend’s place.

        Liked by 2 people

        Comment by wordsfromanneli — August 30, 2017 @ 10:05 am

        • Yes, it has been a harsh year here too. We had much more snow than usual and a lot of sub-zero nights. This summer has been bone dry with record-setting high temperatures.

          I think we are fairly safe from these fires, but with each dry thunder storm, who knows?

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by montucky — August 30, 2017 @ 10:39 am

  6. Great pictures of it all but I hope they can get them under control!😎

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by heartandsoul974 — August 30, 2017 @ 4:04 am

    • There are several that will not be under control until the first snows puts them out. The efforts are mostly to protect any homes that may be in danger. At the oresent time there are several thousand homes that are under evacuation orders here in western Montana.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — August 30, 2017 @ 7:47 am

      • Thinking of all the families. I hope your house is safe.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by heartandsoul974 — August 31, 2017 @ 3:59 am

        • There are about 50 homes in danger today. The threat at my house is from sparks that can travel miles through the air. I can only hope!

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by montucky — August 31, 2017 @ 7:46 am

  7. Yikes! So many wildfires this year. I surely do hope they don’t get any closer to your home.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — August 30, 2017 @ 7:03 am

    • I hope so too. Fortunately my home is situated (protected from the south by the river) where the prevailing winds would taken them away from the house, not toward it. We’ll see.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — August 30, 2017 @ 7:49 am

  8. Terry:

    Be safe; be careful, do a rain dance.

    Chad

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Anonymous — August 30, 2017 @ 7:57 am

    • We need a whole tribe doing a rain dance today! The fire lay down during the night, but come noon… The fire on the south is about 6 air miles east of the Eddy Peak Lookout at the head of the Eddy creek canyon just this side of Cherry peak. I hope all is well with you!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — August 30, 2017 @ 8:44 am

  9. Kudos to the guys in the helicopter! The heat from the fires has to make that a little tricky. Be safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Pat — August 30, 2017 @ 8:26 am

    • Those guys will be very busy today. They have plenty of access to the river for re-filling without being in the heat or the wind from the fire. There was a 4-engine jet tanker flying last night too. I imagine it will be in service today as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — August 30, 2017 @ 8:47 am

  10. I have always been active outside year round. I developed adult onset asthma during a wildfire season a few years ago. I learned too late if I can smell smoke from a distant fire, I am inhaling it and it is damaging my lungs and heart. Now I run a HEPA air purifier in the house. I wear a Multi Gas Vapor Cartridge Filter P100 mask outside. I bought a battery personal particular counter and measure the air-quality whenever I leave the house. Please do not assume that because the smoke looks like it is in the distance, that your air quality is good.

    Like

    Comment by Tracy Park — August 30, 2017 @ 11:42 am

  11. Stay safe up there – hoping for a change in conditions for you soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Jo Woolf — August 30, 2017 @ 2:20 pm

    • Thanks Jo. So far the local area is not in much danger. I’m looking forward to the end of summer though!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — August 30, 2017 @ 4:34 pm

  12. I hope they stay far away from your place!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — August 30, 2017 @ 3:49 pm

    • Thanks! So far, so good! The smoke is really bad, but there is no imminent threat right here.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — August 30, 2017 @ 4:35 pm

  13. The fires look alarmingly close to you, Terry. Do you have a cleared space around your own home or is it tree covered right up to your house frame?

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Vicki — August 30, 2017 @ 6:18 pm

    • It seems like there is one fairly close every summer. Yes, I have fire-proofed my house area with plenty of access for fire trucks and equipment if necessary.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — August 30, 2017 @ 8:57 pm

  14. The last photo is amazing .. what a click. Best of luck to the firefighting team ..

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Julie@frogpondfarm — August 31, 2017 @ 1:36 pm

    • I know the area of that fire very well, having hiked up there many times. They will need all of the luck they can get in that area! It is extremely rugged.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — August 31, 2017 @ 2:17 pm

  15. Oh, Terry. I’ve been so consumed with our situation I’m only now catching up with some things, and I’m not at all happy to see this. Twenty miles is too close for comfort, I’d think. When they burn the refuges across Galveston Bay, we can get plenty of ash over here, and that’s about twenty miles. Maybe twenty-five. Ash is light, of course, but what about embers? With a strong wind, how far will they travel? I know you’ve fireproofed, but I’ve seen too many photos of people hosing down their roofs to not be worried for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by shoreacres — September 1, 2017 @ 5:52 am

    • My original estimate of the fire’s position was way off. It is much closer, about 5 miles and getting a little closer as it moves to the east. I can see most of it from my house. I grew a lot yesterday, from 770 acres on the night before. I heard estimates of over 2000 acres late last night and I think it may be even more than that. Today they should fly the infrared plane over it and have a new map of the perimeter. The last two mornings I have found ash on the cars and the house roof. It was less this morning due to a shift in wind direction.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — September 1, 2017 @ 9:03 am

      • I saw you’re working with the fire crews. At what point would you have to evacuate? Do you have a place where both you and Buddy will be safe?

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by shoreacres — September 1, 2017 @ 9:06 am

        • It’s too “iffy” to even guess. The place where my home is located is relatively low risk unless the fire travels across the river, then who knows! At the moment it is safe area. Right now there are much more immediate concerns in the areas closer to the fire. I plan to spend the days resting up to be ready for the time when we can be of service.

          Like

          Comment by montucky — September 1, 2017 @ 9:34 am

  16. We had a lot earlier this summer with some tragic consequences but nothing much lately. Is this all visible from your house?

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Candace — September 1, 2017 @ 1:21 pm

    • There were only a few small fires near here until a few days ago and on one day 17 new ones started. This is the largest and the most threatening to homes. I can see part of it from the house and all of it from a half mile down the road.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — September 1, 2017 @ 1:45 pm


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