Montana Outdoors

September 2, 2017

Sheep Gap Fire, Night of September 2, 2017

Filed under: wildfire — Tags: , , — montucky @ 9:22 pm

The fire has gotten much worse. Hopefully it will settle down later tonight. The flames and coals are spread over more than a mile east and west and come way down the mountain.The last three photos were taken at about 8:30 tonight, the first one from my driveway an hour earlier.

Sheep Gap Fire

Sheep Gap Fire

Sheep Gap Fire

Sheep Gap Fire

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61 Comments »

  1. Wo…hoe! Scary looking indeed, Terry.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Vicki — September 2, 2017 @ 9:48 pm

    • Tonight I can see a glow in the sky over there and also some flames. It is settling down for the night. A lot will depend on the wind tomorrow.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — September 2, 2017 @ 10:45 pm

  2. Looks like you got pretty close!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Michael Andrew Just — September 2, 2017 @ 9:52 pm

  3. I guess you won’t be sleeping much tonight. Take care of yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by wordsfromanneli — September 2, 2017 @ 10:12 pm

    • Yes, I will sleep very lightly tonight, hoping that we won’t be called in. I suspect that won’t happen though, but who knows.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — September 2, 2017 @ 10:46 pm

      • How are things this morning?

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by wordsfromanneli — September 3, 2017 @ 1:02 pm

        • Haven’t been able to see the mountain all day. It’s all smoked in. For control purposes this has been combined with 6 other fires in the area and under the control of a Type 2 incident command. It has been raining ash all day, so far no spot fires from it. Air quality is very bad.

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by montucky — September 3, 2017 @ 4:45 pm

  4. You’re a good man Terry. Please be careful.

    Thinking of your well-being,
    Chad

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Anonymous — September 3, 2017 @ 3:02 am

    • Thanks Chad! No one knows for sure what this fire will be doing. Today it’s supposed to be 100 degrees, which sure won’t help. The fire is quiet this morning. The smoke is high up but it covers the whole valley. It is so dark that it looks like rain clouds and blocks the sun. No news from anywhere about the night’s fire activity, bt I didn’t get called out so the evacuation must have been good. There’s a lot of ash on all horizontal surfaces, some pieces of the ash are quite large. Last night I saw a small piece of a fir branch that had black needles still on it. I felt a large piece of burned bark brush my arm as it came down. I was happy that when it picked it up it felt cool. Now another day of waiting.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — September 3, 2017 @ 7:45 am

  5. What says weather forecast?

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Hanna — September 3, 2017 @ 3:31 am

    • It will be 100 degrees here today with a west wind which at least won’t bring so much ash across the river maybe.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — September 3, 2017 @ 7:47 am

  6. That looks terrible. Are you safe where you are?

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Val — September 3, 2017 @ 6:17 am

  7. That would be way too close for comfort for me. Please be safe! I’m saying a prayer that the fires are contained and don’t cause any loss of life or homes. Keep us posted.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — September 3, 2017 @ 11:19 am

    • There aren’t very many who are comfortable around here at the moment. This fire is now part of a complex of 7 fires in this area totaling 9,600 acres and as of last night is under the command of a Type II management team. Everything here is covered by ash this morning.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — September 3, 2017 @ 11:29 am

  8. I hope you see some rain real soon, or at least that the wind will blow in your favor.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — September 3, 2017 @ 2:39 pm

    • No rain expected in the forecast. The wind is shifting to a new direction. If that happens it will blow toward the fire instead of from it, but the forecasts have not been very accurate. The fire area is so smoked in today that I haven’t even been able to see into it. Planes can’t fly in that so there has not been an attack on the fire all day. We can only guess what it’s doing.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — September 3, 2017 @ 4:48 pm

  9. It has been a summer of great disruptions in so many places. We also live in the bush and it’s hard not to wonder what weather will bring. Then of course you can be driving down the road and see someone throw a cigarette butt out the window. Egad! What are these people thinking? No fires around us but we’ve lived in smoke from BC for much of the summer.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Sally — September 3, 2017 @ 3:39 pm

    • Well, we’re in the soup here for awhile. The forces of nature are in complete control. We can just evacuate people ahead of the fire’s advances.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — September 3, 2017 @ 4:49 pm

  10. So horribly destructive, and yet so entrancing.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by de Wets Wild — September 3, 2017 @ 8:48 pm

    • Yes. But there have been far too many this year. There have been fires burning in Montana now for 51 days. It’s wearing some folks down.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — September 3, 2017 @ 9:34 pm

      • And that is very, very understandable. To be constantly surrounded by so much destruction and anguish will get anyone down.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by de Wets Wild — September 4, 2017 @ 7:10 am

  11. Stay safe. We’ll be thinking about you. Please continue to keep us posted.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by jpostol — September 4, 2017 @ 6:24 am

    • Thanks. I will try to keep doing updates. There was so much smoke yesterday that nothing could be seen and I don’t think the fire could have been worked on.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — September 4, 2017 @ 8:05 am

  12. I’m following the various online sources of information, but these photos tell the story in a way both direct and terrifying. As you say, there are times when nature is in control, and there’s nothing to do but cope. You mentioned the blackened mountain above the valley. With the right wind shift, could that serve as a firebreak, as though a back burn had been set? If I understand things rightly, that certainly could aid the firefighters.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by shoreacres — September 4, 2017 @ 8:37 am

    • If the wind shifts and takes this side of the fire back into ti’s self that would be good for structure protection here momentarily: sooner or later the fire will reach the valley floor where there are home.The wind change would expand the other side of the fire though. One of the many problems is the shifting winds. You never know where they will be coming from.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — September 4, 2017 @ 9:41 am

  13. So horrible, I hope the fire gets contained! We need some rain in the west.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Brian Sostrom — September 4, 2017 @ 9:56 am

    • This fire is still at 0% containment and is now at 7,273 acres. The smoke was so heavy today I couldn’t see any of the fire and now the valley is full of heavy smoke.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — September 4, 2017 @ 6:53 pm

      • So depressing… we are in a smoke filled area too. Suddenly I am looking forward to fall… what a conclusion to summer.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Brian Sostrom — September 4, 2017 @ 6:55 pm

        • This has not been a fun summer. We had record heat and no rain for two months and now so much of it is on fire. I was hoping for a better summer and a pretty fall but now I’d love to see a foot of snow!

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by montucky — September 4, 2017 @ 7:00 pm

  14. Continuing to think of you all up there.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Candace — September 4, 2017 @ 5:03 pm

  15. I came here to your blog, and thankful for your coverage of the unreal number of fires in Montana. Somehow we aren’t hearing about them much in New Mexico. Heartbreaking!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by C.C. — September 4, 2017 @ 8:23 pm

    • There are over 45 active fires here now, most in the northwest part of the state and over half a million acres have already burned. I have only been able to follow the closest one and for the last two days the smoke has been so thick that I haven’t been able to see anything there. We have been short of resources, manpower, equipment and air support, but the worst part for the close fire is its inaccessibility. The terrain is steep, rugged, heavily forested and has practically no access to allow equipment to approach the fire.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — September 4, 2017 @ 9:08 pm

  16. Gosh that looks way too close to me .. I know you will be taking care

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Julie@frogpondfarm — September 5, 2017 @ 2:28 pm

    • It’s certainly close enough to my home to be uncomfortable about it. I suspect that I’ll need to see the fire much closer at some point. This is an unsettling time for so many people!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — September 5, 2017 @ 4:26 pm

  17. I’ll keep you all in my prayers. It’s too close for comfort.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by heartandsoul974 — September 5, 2017 @ 6:49 pm

  18. Fires are such a huge presence at this time and in so many states and countries. Everyone is talking about rain and snow…. which seems so far off. I hope you are safe. Your photos really show the immensity of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Tammie — September 6, 2017 @ 6:00 am

    • With all of the fire and smoke it’s gratifying to see that we haven’t lost more homes than we have. Losing the fire fighters was tragic though. Sadly, it’s not over yet.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — September 6, 2017 @ 7:24 am

  19. You lost firefighters? Terribly sad … Hope you are well this evening and there’s much improvement in the situation.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — September 6, 2017 @ 7:08 pm

    • Yes, there were two killed here about a month ago from falling snags.
      The close fire is still under heavy smoke but there has been some good work done on it by dozer crews and they have some pretty good control lines now in from of the fire on its east end. We’ll see when the winds change in a couple more days and the smoke lifts. There are 150 fires now in western Montana and eastern Idaho, 50 of them very large. The major media carries no stories about these fires, In Montana alone over 900,000 acres have burned so far this year.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — September 6, 2017 @ 7:56 pm

  20. The media gets focused and can’t seem to do more than one story at a time … epic fail, as they say. The acreage, lives lost, the animals … really horrifying. Thank you for the info and update. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — September 7, 2017 @ 12:34 pm

  21. Is that fire any closer to you than on Sept 2? Here we have been blanketed in thick smoke the last few days. Very limited visibility. Possible rain next Wednesday … maybe you will get some too.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Sally — September 9, 2017 @ 2:52 pm

    • The fire hasn’t moved much over the past few days because the thickness of the smoke has kept it cooler and the winds have been slight. The danger to where I live is that coals become wind-borne and cross the river. Wednesday night and beyond the forecast says there is a chance of rain. I would be welcome, but realistically it will take a couple of good snows to end this fire season.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — September 9, 2017 @ 10:13 pm

  22. Stunning and scaring!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Sartenada — September 13, 2017 @ 1:10 am


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