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Libby, Montana

Ignite the Nites Open Car Show August 14-15, 2009
Ignite the Nites Car Show Held in August

Chinook helicopter fighting fire
Goat Rock Complex This was the scene Tuesday afternoon while two National Guard Chinook helicopters hauled water to the Klatawa and Berray Mountain fires. Three more engines and an additional 20-person crew arrived Tuesday, September 1. Visit inciweb.nwcg.gov for current updates on the Goat Rock Complex. Photo by Maggie Craig.

Headlines:
Goat Rock Complex update – August 31, 2015
Goat Rock Complex Wildfire Update – August 31, 2015
Hunter Education classes scheduled
Klatawa Fire Public Meeting in Libby
Thompson-Divide Complex update – August 30, 2015
Goat Rock Complex update - August 30, 2015
Clark Fork Complex Wildfire update - Saturday, August 29
Pre-evacuation Notice for Bull Lake area south of Troy, Montana – Aug. 27, 2015
Temporary closure of Dunn Creek Campground and Boat Ramp
Ross Creek Cedars closed to public due to wildfires – Aug. 24, 2015
Troy Centennial Celebration Sept. 11-13th
Murphy Lake closed to boating due to fire suppression activities
Krispy Kreme Doughnut fundraiser to support Libby tennis courts
Fighting fires
Stage II Fire Restrictions go into effect Aug. 20
Fall Harvest Festival Sept. 19 at Riverfront Park in Libby
Lincoln County Real Estate – August 2015

News Archive

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News:

Goat Rock Complex update – August 31, 2015 (posted 8/31/15)
Wildfires burning near Libby, Montana
Kootenai National Forest
Monday, August 31, 2015, 7:52PM
There was minimal fire activity today allowing crews to continue installing firelines and other features to protect structures, private property and other valued resources.

Wildland firefighters will continue to check the east edge of the Klatawa fire with helicopters. Crews will also continue line construction and fuelbreak operations while making structure assessments adjacent to the Klatawa fire.

Line construction work will also continue along the south side of the Berray Mountain fire in the Highway 56 corridor.

The area is under a weak ridge with a light southwest wind. A slight warming and drying trend is expected tomorrow. A new weather system is forecasted to move through the fire area on Wednesday. New photos have been posted to Inciweb and can be found at: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4564/.


Goat Rock Complex Wildfire Update – August 31, 2015 (posted 8/31/15)
Kootenai National Forest
Monday, August 31, 2015
Contact: Public Information Officer: Carmen Thomason, goatrocks2015@gmail.com
Fire Information Phone (406) 293-6783

What: Goat Rock Complex (numerous fires)
Cause: Lightning
Location: Numerous fires located in the Kootenai National Forest, Cabinet Mountains Wilderness and Berray Mountain Area south of Libby, Montana
Jurisdiction: Kootenai National Forest (KNF) Cabinet and Libby Ranger District

Pre-evacuation notices remain in effect for several residents and businesses located west of Highway 2 and immediately east of the Klatawa fire.

Residents are asked to remain vigilant and ready to evacuate in the coming days as warmer weather will increase fire activity. Pre-evacuation residents should have a plan in place to be evacuated if notified by the Sheriff's Office. Cooler weather has influenced fire behavior and lessened the threat of the Klatawa fire. Overall cooler conditions will transition slowly to warmer temperatures over the next week. High temperatures will not be as warm as previous days but will trend upwards as the region remains under the influence of a low pressure system.

A Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team assumed command of several fires on the Kootenai National Forest on August 23 and will manage them as the Goat Rock Complex under the command of Chuck Russell.

The Goat Rock Complex is approximately 6,744 acres and is a collection of the following fires:
Klatawa (KNF): 3,758 acres
Vimy (KNF): 47 acres
Berray Mtn. (KNF): 3,464 acres
Chippewa (KNF): 231 acres
Pine Ridge (KNF): 1 acre
Poplar Point (KNF): 742 acres
Dad (KNF): 44 acres

(Large increases in acreage numbers may be due to increased accessibility to air mapping and intelligence gathering as smoke in the area clears.)

Yesterday’s Activities: Precipitation occurred across the area during the afternoon and evening. Anywhere from 1/10 to 1/4 inch of rain fell. Cooler and wetter conditions have decreased fire behavior. Clear air allowed helicopters to make bucket drops on the east side of the Klatawa fire. Some moderate growth on the west side inside the wilderness area did occur.

The Berray Mtn. fire had some isolated tree torching and continued backing but also received precipitation.

Crews continued using equipment to build fire lines and other features around both the Klatawa and Berray Mtn. fires.

Today’s Planned Actions: Wildland Firefighters will continue building fuel breaks around both the Klatawa and Berray Mtn. Fires. Crews will be working in Granite Creek on the Klatawa fire and on the southern side of the Berray fire near the Highway 56 corridor.

Incident Command is continuing coordination with the local Sheriff’s Offices in Lincoln and Sanders counties and local fire districts to ensure structure protection plans are in place.

Forecasted Weather: A slight warming and drying trend will occur Monday and Tuesday. Windy conditions along the ridgetops are possible. Another system is expected to pass through the area on Wednesday bringing increased chances of showers and cooler temperatures.

Fire Restrictions:
Stage II fire restrictions are in effect for the Libby area. Stage II restrictions include:
1. Building maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire.
2. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
3. The following acts are prohibited from 1:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.:
a. Operating any internal combustion engine.
b. Welding, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.
c. Using an explosive.
4. A one hour foot patrol in the work area is required following cessation of all activities as identified in #3 above.
5. Operating motorized vehicles off designated roads and trails.

Additional information at http://firerestrictions.us/mt/.

Closures:
For more information on closures, including closed Forest Service Lands listed by Township and Range, please visit the Kootenai National Forest website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/kootenai/home or visit Goat Rock Complex on InciWeb at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4564/ for a detailed list.


Hunter Education classes scheduled (posted 8/31/15)
Students must register online
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Hunter Education classes have been scheduled for a number of communities in northwest Montana. All hunter education classes are free of charge.

All students must register online (register online at fwp.mt.gov, click education) for the following courses. When registering, students will note specific information and guidelines for the course included in the online posting.

Bigfork: First night of class is Wednesday, September 16, 7-8 p.m. at the Bigfork High School Music Room. The remainder of classes will be held 6-9 p.m. on September 21, 23, 25, 29, and October 1. The field course will be held on Saturday, October 3. Test night is October 5. Call Rod Day (249-5402) for more information or call FWP at 406-752-5501.

Columbia Falls: After registering online, all students must attend a brief, mandatory orientation at the Columbia Falls Fire Department on September 8, between the hours of 6-8 p.m.; students must bring their permission slip with them at that time, and they will receive their manuals and assignments. Classes will be held from 7-9 p.m. at the Columbia Falls High School September 14, 15, 17, 21, 22, 24; field course is Saturday September 26; test night is September 28. For more information, call lead instructor, John Kropp, 406-250-1963.

Eureka: Classes are held 7-9 p.m. at the Eureka Middle School September 8, 14, 15, 17, 21, 22. Field day is Saturday, September 19; test night is September 24. Call Megan Strom at 406-249-6018 for more information.

Kalispell: All students must attend a brief, mandatory orientation on Friday, September 18, 4-8 p.m. at Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks at 490 North Meridian Road in Kalispell. Students will need to stop in for the brief orientation any time during that period. At the orientation, students will pick up their manuals and receive course instructions. Classes will be held at the Flathead High School from 6-9 p.m. on September 28, 29, 30, and October 1. The field course will be held on Saturday, October 3. Test night is back at the high school on Monday, October 5, from 6-8 p.m. Call FWP (406-752-5501) or Mike Corkish, lead instructor, 406-212-8122.

Olney: Register online now. Classes are held 5:30-8 p.m. on September 28, 29, October 2, 5, and 6; field course and test held Saturday, October 10. Classes are held at the Olney Fire Hall, back entry. For more information, contact Mike West at 406-250-2500.

Trego: Classes held at the Trego School from 7-9 p.m. on September 14, 21, 22, 24, 28, 29; field course is September 26; test night is October 1. Contact: Tim Thier, lead instructor, 406-882-4697.

Trout Creek: First class is September 3 at the Trout Creek Fire Station from 7-9 p.m. Remainder of schedule to be arranged. Contact: Harold Hudson, lead instructor, 406-827-4010.


Klatawa Fire Public Meeting in Libby (posted 8/30/15)
Cooler weather lets authorities rescind evacuation order
Maggie Craig, LibbyMT.com
A public meeting was held Saturday evening, August 29, to inform area residents about firefighting efforts on the Goat Rock Complex of fires on the Kootenai National Forest. Of particular interest is the Klatawa Fire, which forced the precautionary evacuation of residents along Lower Granite Lake Road, Granite Creek Road, Willow Road, Prospect Creek Road, Winchester Drive, and Granite Lake Road by 1:00 p.m. Saturday. Pre-evacuation notices were also issued for residents and businesses on the west side of Highway 2 from Pearl Street south to Bear Creek Road. The Type 2 Rocky Mountain Area Incident Management Team (also called Red Team), as well as local officials, were on hand to relay current information.

Team meteorological information indicates a cooling trend for the upcoming week, with daytime temperatures in the 60s, nighttime temperatures in the 40s, and a chance of showers throughout the week.

The Operations Section Chief indicated that this is a historic year for fire in the West, and because of the number and severity of fires, resources such as engines and crews are scarce. That wasn’t such a problem until the Klatawa Fire made a run Friday afternoon and burned in thick timber and steep slopes on the east side of Mount Snowy, which was visible from the highway. Saturday’s efforts utilized local Forest Service and Libby Volunteer Fire Department engines for precautionary structure protection, and the good news is that Saturday’s winds didn’t develop as forecast, which was a considerable relief for all concerned. More good news is that 11 engines were scheduled to arrive Saturday night and be on the line Sunday. He thanked the local community for their generous support in the form of heavy equipment to help build fire lines around several fires around the Kootenai Forest.

Sheriff Roby Bowe spoke about Friday night’s fire activity which prompted the evacuation and pre-evacuation notices. While the evacuation boundaries may seem overly cautious and unrealistic to residents compared to the location of fire activity, the reason is that the Sheriff’s Department and the many volunteers working with it need adequate time to notify everyone, which in this case was about 400 people with pre-evacuation notices. The Sheriff is charged with public safety and is doing his best to protect the public, and he also implored everyone to refrain from "spreading rumors" about evacuations and highway closures...read official press releases for accurate information. He also noted that deputies will be patrolling for looters.

As of Sunday morning, a Sheriff’s Office press release stated that evacuated residents may return home but remain on pre-evacuation status. Current information can be found on the Sheriff Office’s Facebook page at Lincoln County Sheriff.

Lisa Oedewaldt from Lincoln County Emergency Management reminded everyone that there is a Red Cross shelter set up at the Assembly of God Church on Collins Avenue. Animal Control is handling animal and livestock evacuations. She also urged registration with the county’s Code Red system of notification. While everyone listed in the phone book is theoretically registered, numerous address changes have made automatic registration somewhat unreliable. Code Red registration can be found on the county’s official web site at Code Red Registration. One can also call Lisa at 406-293-6296.

Kootenai National Forest Supervisor Chris Savage gave a brief history of the fires that have started as a result of three lightning events, which have ultimately resulted in around 70 fires on the forest and around 18,000 acres burned. That acreage number was doubled in the last week alone, which indicates the level of fire activity in the past week. Over 60 fires were extinguished on initial attack. There are three Type 2 teams on the forest (Goat Rock Complex, Northeast Kootenai Complex and the Clark Fork Complex) and with the nature of this fire season and the weather outlook for September, he considers firefighting activities to be a "marathon, not a sprint." And while resources such as crews and engines have been limited, the forest is fortunate to have several helicopters available, and to have the Type 2 teams here.

Incident Commander Chuck Russell commended the community for its local support with equipment on the fire lines and cookies in fire camp. He reiterated the idea that with evacuations, there needs to be plenty of time to get people out safely. The team strives to give accurate information, and would like to give midday updates when possible. There is a lot of fire in the back country but the highest priority is protection of people and structures. And there is no caterer for fire camp, so the team is depending on local restaurants for meals. He called Libby an "engaged community," to applause from the crowd.

After the presentations the audience was invited to ask individual questions of concern.

Related Links:
Inciweb – Goat Rock Complex fire


Thompson-Divide Complex update – August 30, 2015 (posted 8/30/15)
Mandatory Evacuation order for Essex lifted
Northern Rockies Type II Incident Management Team
Daily Fact Sheet Aug. 30, 7:00PM

Fire Information: (406) 387-4854/ (406) 314-1669, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Evacuation and Highway Closure Information: Flathead County EOC, (406) 758-2111, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.

Resources - Total Personnel: 325
Injuries: 1
Structures Lost: None
20-Person Hand Crews: 2 Type-1 and 3 Type-2, 1 Wildland Fire Management Module (8), 1 Helitack Crew (10)
Air Support: Helicopters (2 Type-1 & 2 Type-3)
Engines: 17
Heavy Equipment: 15

The Thompson-Divide Complex is comprised of the Sheep and Granite Fires on the Flathead National Forest and the Thompson Fire in Glacier National Park. The Sheep fire is the incident priority as it is approaching US Hwy. 2 and the BNSF railway and is threatening the community of Essex.

On Aug. 31, at 6 a.m., Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry will lift the mandatory evacuation order for Essex and the surrounding area and place the community back to the ‘Set’ Stage of the Ready, Set, Go evacuation model. Residents are advised to remain prepared to evacuate if conditions again warrant this action. For more information on the evacuation, call the Flathead County Office of Emergency Services at (406) 758-2111.
U.S. Highway 2 will reopen at 6 a.m. Aug. 31, with pilot cars escorting traffic between mileposts 176.8 at Schellinger and 185 at Bear Creek. Escorted vehicles are not allowed to stop in this area. BNSF trains and Amtrak are running intermittently. Call 511 or visit http://www.mdt.mt.gov/travinfo/alerts.shtml for current road status. For more information on Amtrak call (800) 872-7245.

Stage II Fire Restrictions are in effect for northwestern Montana.

Visit http://svc.mt.gov/deq/todaysair/ for air quality info.

Closures are in effect for some trails and areas in the vicinity of the fires for Glacier National Park and Flathead National Forest. For more info, see the Glacier NP page http://www.nps.gov/glac or for Flathead NF call Hungry Horse Ranger District (406) 387-3800 or go to http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/4468/28364/.

Today, the fire areas had mostly cloudy conditions with light showers and afternoon thunderstorms. Maximum temperatures were greatly reduced and the higher humidity resulted in minimal fire behavior. Cooler conditions and light rains predicted for the next few days will give firefighters new opportunities to build fireline on fire edge.

Sheep Fire, Flathead National Forest
http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4468/
Structures At Risk: 200+ structures, BNSF has several wooden snowsheds and 1 trestle, utilities infrastructure
Approximate Size: 2,102 acres
Containment: 0%
Structures Lost: None

Fire Update: The Sheep Fire is on the Flathead National Forest and burning in very steep terrain with limited access. The fire is about 1 mile south of Essex and about 1/8 mile from the train tracks between Tank Creek and MacDonald Creek. The fire has not crossed Sheep Creek to the south. Minimal fire activity has allowed firefighters to make plans to engage the fire with direct suppression efforts in the Sheep Creek drainage and along a ridge south of Tank Creek tomorrow. Construction of the shaded fuelbreak along tracks across from Goat Lick is completed. The shaded fuel breaks in the areas around Essex, Essex Creek Road, and the County park land is near completion. The logs and slash created by this effort are being moved to a safe location. These shaded fuelbreaks create defensible positions if burning operations are required later. Structural protection measures are in place in Essex. A night shift will continue to monitor fire movement and patrol the Essex area and Walton compound for any encroaching fire activity.

Granite Fire - Flathead National Forest
http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4468/

Approximate Size: 840 acres
Containment: 0%

Fire Update: The Granite Fire is burning in very steep terrain in a mixed conifer forest. The fire is located west of Marias Pass and south of Hwy. 2. The fire started in the Great Bear Wilderness and has moved north out of the Wilderness. The fire has moved west along a ridge between 2 unnamed tributaries of Granite Creek and northwest toward Patrol Ridge. Crews have implemented structural protection measures on other facilities in the fire’s vicinity. Crews have established locations for fireline construction and possible shaded fuel break opportunities when sufficient crews become available for their construction. One engine and crew are using existing roads to monitor fires progress.

Thompson Fire - Glacier National Park
http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4468/

Approximate Size: 17,857 acres
Containment: 80%
Structures At Risk: 2 historic cabins
Structures Lost: None

Fire Update: The Thompson Fire is located in remote south-central backcountry of Glacier National Park about 15 miles east of the West Glacier entrance in the Thompson and Nyack drainages west of the Continental Divide. All fire personnel have been removed from this fire. It will be monitored from the air for any increased fire activity. Pumps and hose lays are in place in case a future need arises. The fire continued to have some activity in the southeastern area of the fire yesterday.

Most of Glacier National Park is unaffected by this wildfire complex and is available for recreational use. The trail over Triple Divide Pass between the Cutbank campground and the Red Eagle Lake campground, including the Medicine Grizzly Lake Trail spur, as well as the Cut Bank drive-in campground and the Atlantic backcountry campground have reopened. Other limited backcountry closures remain in effect for visitor safety. Please visit http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/hikingthetrails.htm for current information.

The Thompson Fire has not impacted park roads. The Going-to-the-Sun Road is open.

For information on the Reynolds Creek fire, please visit http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4405/#


Goat Rock Complex update - August 30, 2015 (posted 8/30/15)
Evacuation Notice rescinded – residents on Pre-evacuation Notice
Kootenai National Forest
What: Goat Rock Complex (numerous fires)
Location: Numerous fires located in the Kootenai National Forest, Cabinet Mountains Wilderness and Berray Mountain Area south of Libby, Montana

Cause: Lightning
Jurisdiction: Kootenai National Forest (KNF) Cabinet and Libby Ranger District
Contact: Public Information Officer: Carmen Thomason, goatrocks2015@gmail.com
Fire Information Phone: (406) 293-6783

After meeting this morning (Sunday, August 30th) with members of the fire management team, the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office has decided to rescind the evacuation notice for all residents of Lower Granite Lake Road, Granite Creek Road, Willow Road, Prospect Creek Road, Winchester Drive and Granite Lake Road. Those residents are now a pre-evacuation areas. All residents who were evacuated yesterday can return home and notifications by the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office are underway.

Pre-evacuation notices remain in effect for all residents and businesses west of Highway 2, starting from Pearl Street near Atkins South Gas Station and extending south to and including Bear Creek Road. This also includes all residences on Snowshoe Road south of Hogan Drive.

Residents are asked to remain vigilant and ready to evacuate in the coming days as warmer weather will increase fire activity again. Pre-evacuation residents should have a plan in place to be evacuated if notified by the Sheriff's Office. Cooler weather has influenced fire behavior and lessened the threat of the Klatawa fire. Overall cooler conditions will transition slowly to warmer temperatures over the next week. High temperatures will not be as warm as previous days but will trend upwards as the region remains under the influence of a low pressure system.

Only residents will be allowed past the road closure at the intersection of Flower Creek Road and Granite Lake Road. There is a sheriff's deputy at this point. If you are not a resident please stay clear of the area so firefighting operations can continue and residents can return to their homes and property.

A Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team assumed command of several fires on the Kootenai National Forest on August 23 and will manage them as the Goat Rock Complex under the command of Chuck Russell.

The Goat Rock Complex is approximately 6,744 acres and is a collection of the following fires:

Klatawa (KNF): 3,758 acres Vimy (KNF): 47 acres
Berray Mtn. (KNF): 1,922 acres Chippewa (KNF): 231 acres
Pine Ridge (KNF): 1 acres Poplar Point (KNF): 741 acres
Dad (KNF): 44 acres

(Some acres are estimated due to inaccessibility of the fires and smoke hampering aviation mapping operations)

Yesterday’s Activities: Weather conditions were good for fire activity yesterday. The Klatawa fire grew to the south and east toward the Granite Creek trailhead. Evacuations were ordered in the area and crews worked to install fire line and other features to protect private property and other valued resources. Helicopter bucket operations on the east side of the fire did occur.

The Berray Mountain fire made a significant run to the North but did not require any evacuations or notices. The fire continues to slowly back down into the Highway 56 corridor. Fire crews used heavy equipment to install fireline along the south and west sides of the Berray Mountains to provide structure protection.

The Vimy, Dad, Pine Ridge, Chippewa, and Poplar Point fires continue to burn, but are not threatening valued resources or structures at this time.

Today’s Planned Actions: Crews will be installing fire control lines, sprinklers and other features around the Klatawa and Berray Fires to protect structures, private property, and other valued resources. Fire fighters will also assist Lincoln County Sheriff's Office in monitoring the pre-evacuation areas. Wildland firefighters will also continue to assess options for checking and containing the Klatawa fire which is projected to move east.

Additional fire engines continue to arrive from as far away as Arizona and New Mexico. With cooler temperatures, which should moderate fire behavior, crews are hopeful that today will be a productive day for taking strategic action on these fires.

Forecasted Weather: Today’s weather will still be windy but with much cooler and wetter conditions. Excellent chances for wetting rains exist which should help with smoky conditions in the area as well as keep fire behavior minimal. The upper level flow will move to the west by Sunday night leaving drier conditions and continued cooler temperatures Warmer weather will start moving back into the area later next week.

Fire Restrictions:
Stage II fire restrictions are in effect for the Libby area. Stage II restrictions include:
1. Building maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire.
2. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
3. The following acts are prohibited from 1:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.:
1. Operating any internal combustion engine.
2. Welding, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.
3. Using an explosive.
4. A one hour foot patrol in the work area is required following cessation of all activities as identified in #3 above.
5. Operating motorized vehicles off designated roads and trails.

Additional information at http://firerestrictions.us/mt/.


Firefighters are installing sprinklers and other fire protection measures to keep from damaging this majestic grove of old growth cedar.
Firefighters are installing sprinklers and other fire protection measures to keep from damaging this majestic grove of old growth cedar.
Clark Fork Complex Wildfire update - Saturday, August 29 (posted 8/29/15)
Includes Bull Lake and Ross Creek Cedars areas south of Troy
Idaho Panhandle and Kootenai National Forests
Contact: Public Information Officers: Glenda Scott, Bob MacGregor, Peri Suenram
Phone: 406-847-9974 or 406-827-0731

What: Clark Fork Complex (numerous fires)

Cause: Lightning

Location: N. Idaho and NW Montana, Nearby Towns include Noxon, MT and Clark Fork, ID

Jurisdiction: Idaho Panhandle National Forests (IPNF) and Kootenai National Forest (KNF)
The Northern Rockies Wildland Fire Management Team has assumed command of all fires in the Napoleon and Clark Fork Complexes and will manage them as the Clark Fork Complex under the command of Diane Hutton.
The Clark Fork Complex is a collection of the following fires:
Scotchman Peak (IPNF): 2057 acres Whitetail (IPNF): 1734 acres
Sawtooth (KNF): 2158 acres Marten Creek (IPNF): 6 acres
Napoleon (KNF): 8499 acres Government (KNF): 391 acres
Acreages above are the same as Friday due to the lack of an Infra-red flight on Saturday morning.

•A Red Flag Warning for High Winds on Saturday from 11:00am to 8:00pm•
Yesterday’s Activities: Cool and cloudy conditions with scattered rain showers kept the Clark Fork Complex fires in check on Friday. Operations personnel flew over the Marten Creek Fire and saw no smokes at all. Equipment working along the 332 Road on the Whitetail Fire pushed their road improvements to the east all the way to the intersection with the 332A Road. A third Hot-shot crew, this one from the Bitterroot National Forest, increased the horsepower building hand-lines and mopping up down both the east and west flanks of the fire. Logging equipment moved cut logs down the road to the west, thereby eliminating them as fuel. The removal of logs was also on-going at the base of the Scotchman Peak Fire where trucks under the command of Division Supervisor John Olson finished the elimination of fuels from the contingency line. There was a significant amount of interior torching within the Scotchman Peak perimeter as temperatures stayed warm in the higher elevations early Friday morning. Crews started the construction of a contingency line ahead of the Sawtooth Fire along the west side of Highway 56. A burn-out along the north edge of the Napoleon Fire was completed to the West Fork of Dry Creek; the crews will now wait for the fire to burn down to the line and ensure it there are no spots to the north. The hose-lay that follows the Pillick Ridge Trail from Highway 56 to the Gin Gully slop-over held on Friday. The fire in Gin Gully did not make substantial movement to the south. Helicopters were finally able to fly as the smoke from the last few days rose into the upper atmosphere. The heli-base at the Amber Bear Resort was used for the first time during a mission to change solar panels on a radio repeater at the Star Mountain Lookout. Overhead personnel from Canada arrived at camp to assist in managing the fire; they are distinctive in their orange fire gear and are a welcome addition to the firefighting effort. A contractor journeying from morning briefing to the fire-line hit a deer along Highway 200 but no injuries (other than the deer fatality) occurred due to safe speeds they were traveling.

Today’s Planned Actions: Saturday will be a critical day for firefighters. A cold front will pass across the fire area at approximately 11:00 am, winds preceding and following the passage may be accompanied by gusts of 30 to 40 mph on the ridgetops and unsheltered areas. Winds will begin from the southeast and swing to the southwest as the front passes. The strongest winds will occur in valleys aligned southwest to northeast and on unsheltered areas with west and southwest exposures. The winds will be considerably less in timbered areas and in sheltered valleys. Positives from the weather forecast are that the skies will be cloudy, the temperatures will be less than previous days, humidity will be elevated and moister conditions, including a good chance of wetting rain, will be following the cold front passage. The Fire Behavior Specialist has looked at the potential for fire growth across the complex and developed the following forecasts for how the individual fires will react to this wind event. The Marten Creek Fire should stay within established fire lines. A large part of the Whitetail Fire is sheltered from the winds but firefighters should keep an eye on the west side of the fire where it could make a move up the exposed Buckskin drainage toward the Buckskin Saddle. The Scotchman Peak Fire should continue to blow back onto itself and should not see any large fire growth. On Napoleon the fires on the south flank in Blacktail and Gin Creek drainages should be relatively protected from the winds as will the most of the fire-line along the Highway 56 corridor. The Sawtooth fire has a few spots on the north side of Ross Creek that have the potential to make a substantial run given favorable wind speed and direction. The Government Fire could see growth to the east but that would be away from structures along Highway 56. Firefighters will use the early morning hours to button up lines before the frontal passage. Fire managers want to make sure crews and equipment are not in front of the fires when the winds hit as firefighter and public safety remain the premier objective at all times. A request for a heavy (largest water carrying capability) helicopter will be made on Saturday morning to try and knock down fire activity on the Whitetail Fire prior to the weather event and reduce the time that the winds are blowing across hot areas. Fire managers will assess fire locations on Saturday night and adjust future strategy accordingly, the weather forecast after Saturday is highly favorable for firefighting efforts

Evacuations: A Stage 1 pre-evacuation is in effect for all residences along the Highway 56 corridor south of and including Angel Island, along the east and west shore of Bull Lake from mile marker 14.5 to mile marker 20.5 on Highway 56, to include all residences in the Bull Lake Estates and Wilderness View Estates. A Level 1 Evacuation Order is in effect for an area in Bonner County, Idaho. This area is bounded by the State Line on the east, River Road (south of the Clark Fork River) on the north, the main fork of Johnson Creek on the west and the Shoshone/Bonner County Line to the south. Level 1 is a pre-evacuation notice that informs residents that they should have plans in case the fire moves in their direction. Evacuations are in effect along Highway 56 from mile marker 14 extending south to mile mark 2.7, for both sides of the highway. The evacuation zone also includes all residences on the East Fork Bull River Road. Pre-evacuation notices are in effect for all residences north of Highway 200 from mile marker 6 to the Highway 56 intersection (approximately 4 miles), for the residents on the Old Bull River Road and for residents on Highway 56 from approximately mile mark 14.5 to mile mark 14; and mile mark 2.7 south to the Highway 200 intersection.

Closures: A new closure order on the Idaho Panhandle National Forest will close the 332 Road, the 1066 Road and the 1021 Road at the intersection with the 332 Road, in the local area. The Idaho Panhandle National Forests and the Kootenai National Forest have instituted area and trail closures around many of the fires in the Clark Fork Complex; please consult the websites for the respective Forests at the Idaho Panhandle http://www.fs.usda.gov/ipnf or the Kootenaihttp://www.fs.usda.gov/kootenai for the latest updates.
For the latest fire information and photos, visit http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4531/. Stay current with the Idaho Panhandle National Forest on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/USFSIPNF
and the Kootenai National Forest at http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/kootenai/home


Pre-evacuation Notice for Bull Lake area south of Troy, Montana – Aug. 27, 2015 (posted 8/27/15)
Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office
As a precautionary measure due to continuing fire activity on the Clark Fork Fire Complex, specifically the Napoleon and Sawtooth Fires, and after consultation with Hutton’s Northern Rockies Wildland Fire Management Team and the Kootenai National Forest; The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office has issued a pre-evacuation notice for the Bull Lake area south of Troy, Montana, bounded by the following : All residences along the Highway 56 corridor south of and including Angel Island along the east and west shore of Bull Lake from mile marker 14.5 to mile marker 20.5 on Highway 56, to include all residences in the Bull Lake Estates and Wilderness View Estates. Portions of this pre-evacuation zone description are within Sanders County and being managed by the Sanders County Sheriff, as both counties are coordinating with the Clark Fork Fire Complex fire management team. Pre-evacuation equals a Stage 1 "yellow" condition and means residents in the affected area should be ready to evacuate in case of increased fire activity. It constitutes an awareness of increased risk, a need to make preparations, and a need to monitor emergency services. Residents should prepare and, if needed, take early precautionary movement to relocate, especially those with special needs, pets, livestock or those needing transportation assistance. It is very important for area residents within the zone to be prepared for notification teams to arrive at their homes beginning Friday, August 28. The teams will provide individual pre-evacuation notification and critical information. Neighbors should contact neighbors and ensure that this information is passed along. Public meetings will be announced. Written information will be posted at Ross Creek Road, Halfway House Bar, and Bull Lake Fire Station Battalion #2 at Angel Island. Residents with questions may contact Lincoln County Emergency Management at 406-293- 6295 or 406-334-0050. Clark Fork Complex fire information may be obtained at 406-847-9974 from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM.

Sheriff Roby Bowe
Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office


Temporary closure of Dunn Creek Campground and Boat Ramp (posted 8/27/15)
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Libby Dam
LIBBY, MT - Dunn Creek Campground and Boat Ramp will be temporarily closed in September for bank stabilization work and the construction of a in-stream fish habitat project.

The closure is necessary due to the heavy equipment that will be active in Dunn Creek Campground for the project.

The boat dock will be moved downstream out of the way to allow work equipment to use the ramp for access to the river. Large trucks and heavy equipment will be in use and traffic in and out of Dunn Creek by construction crews will be higher than normal.

Alternative camping locations include Blackwell Flats and Alexander Creek. Alternate boat ramps in the area include Osprey Landing and the Downstream Area. For more information, please contact Natural Resource Specialist, Alana Mesenbrink at (406) 293-7751 x 252.


Ross Creek Cedars closed to public due to wildfires – Aug. 24, 2015 (posted 8/24/15)
Due to wildfire activity, the Kootenai National Forest has ordered that National Forest System lands, roads, and trails in the vicinity of Ross Creek Cedars have been closed to public use and travel. These restrictions will remain in effect until rescinded. Click here to read the full order: http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprd3851958.pdf


Troy Centennial Celebration Sept. 11-13th (posted 8/24/25)
Troy will be hosting their Centennial Celebration Friday, Saturday & Sunday, September 11th, 12th and 13th. The 100th birthday celebration kicks off on Friday at 3:00PM with a flag raising ceremony at the Troy Museum. There will be dining specials, activities, and live music at the Silver Spur and R-Place, and an old-fashioned street dance put on by the Home Bar and VFW. Visit the Troy, MT Centennial Celebration Facebook page for a full list of events.


Murphy Lake closed to boating due to fire suppression activities (posted 8/24/15)
Kootenai National Forest
Murphy Lake in its entirety, south of Eureka, in Lincoln County, is being closed to all boating, motorized and non-motorized and all recreation until further notice. The closure is necessary to protect the safety of public and Chinook helicopter pilots while dipping to collect water to fight wild fires on Mount Marston and Mount Barnaby. This lake is within the Kootenai National Forest and is adjacent to the Murphy Lake Ranger District headquarters. Wording in the official order is included below:

"Murphy Lake is closed to all public occupation and recreation including, but not limited to, floating, swimming, wading, and boating. This rule is effective as long as the lake is needed as a source of water for fire suppression efforts."

FWP Warden Captain Lee Anderson, 406-756-1558 is the public contact for this emergency closure.


Krispy Kreme Doughnut fundraiser to support Libby tennis courts (posted 8/24/15)
Order by August 31st to get discount price
U Serve Libby is having its 12th Annual Krispy Kreme Doughnut fundraiser on Saturday, September 12th. Doughnuts will arrive fresh that morning. Orders can be picked up at the Pizza Hut parking lot between 8:00 a.m. and Noon. Orders placed (and paid for) early get a discount price. Place your paid order by Monday, August 31st and buy Original Glazed Doughnuts for $10 per dozen. After August 31st, Original Glazed donuts are $12.00 per dozen. Assorted Doughnuts are $13.00 per dozen. Maple Iced Glazed Doughnuts are $13.00 per dozen. Order by phone or e-mail to 406-293-8260, uservelibby@frontiernet.net, then send your check to U Serve Libby, P.O. Box 908, Libby, MT 59923-0908. Proceeds from this fundraiser go to support the Libby Community Tennis Court project through U Serve Libby, Inc., a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization.


Photo by Jackie Johnson
Photo by Jackie Johnson
Fighting fires (posted 8/22/15)
Jackie Johnson and her husband were floating down the Kootenai River between Canoe Gulch and Osprey Landing Saturday evening when a helicopter came by to scoop up water for its firefighting efforts. Click on this link for more pictures: Fighting fires


Stage II Fire Restrictions go into effect Aug. 20 (posted 8/20/15)
Northern Rockies Coordination Group Kalispell Area
LIBBY, MT—Stage II Fire Restrictions will go into effect at 0001 am on Thursday the 20th of August, 2015across North West Montana.

Jurisdictions include:
Flathead National Forest
Kootenai National Forest
Bob Marshall Wilderness Lands within the Flathead National Forest
Glacier National Park
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
MT-DNRC Northwestern Land Office
Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks Region 1
Counties: Flathead, Lake (outside of Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribe), Lincoln, and Sanders

Stage 2 restrictions:
Prohibit any open burning, including campfires.
Smoking is allowed only in areas cleared of all flammable materials.
Motorized vehicles must stay on designated roads and trails.
The following acts are prohibited from 1:00 pm to 1:00 am:
Operating an internal combustion engine- i.e. chainsaws and other equipment.
Blasting, welding, or other activities that generate flame or flammable material.
A patrol is required for one hour following cessation of all work as described in a. or b.
Exemptions include fires fueled solely by liquid petroleum or LPG, or other activities for which there is
a permit or written authorization.
An exemption does not absolve an individual or organization from liability or responsibility for any fire started by the exempted activity.

These restrictions apply to any lands outside of designated city limits, regardless of ownership. The restrictions will remain in effect until there is a significant long-term change in fire danger.

The smallest spark has the potential to cause significant damage, so always crush smokes dead out; never leave a campfire unattended; ensure that your vehicle has a properly installed spark arrester that is operational; stop and park only in areas clear of vegetation; and observe all fire restrictions. Take precautions, but always be prepared: carry a shovel, bucket and fire extinguisher. Also remember that cross country travel is not allowed on most federal and state lands.

There are many large fires burning throughout the area and firefighting resources are stretched thin. On the Kootenai National Forest there are at least 51 active fires since last week. The Northeast Kootenai Complex is the largest fire and it is made up of several fires on the Rexford / Fortine Ranger Districts. At this time it is over 2400 acres and is being managed by a Type 2 fire management team. Currently there are 30 known fires burning on the Flathead National Forest originating from a series of lightning storms passing over the area August 12-14th. An additional fire, the Thompson Divide Complex, is under a Type 2 Team that is being managed with Glacier National Park and the Flathead National Forest.

Click here for a printable flyer (PDF): Stage 2 Fire Restrictions


Fall Harvest Festival Sept. 19 at Riverfront Park in Libby (posted 8/13/15)
The Montana Wilderness Association will host a Fall Harvest Festival at the Fred Brown Pavilion in Riverfront Park in Libby on September 19th from 5-9 pm. There will be live music, food, and information about wilderness preservation efforts. The Montana Wilderness Association is doing the Harvest Festival to help celebrate the return of fall and to emphasize the variety and quality of the local community, locally harvested and prepared food, and wild places.

There will be live entertainment from T. Scot Wilburn & the Shut Up -N- Playboys, who play western swing and classic country music, both covers and original tunes. The Harvest Festival will include raffle prizes, crafter demonstrations, face painting, education opportunities, outdoor opportunities, and local food prepared by Mac’s Market BBQ and Joanne Linehan. All of the food prepared was purchased from local farmers in Lincoln County and prepared by local businesses and local catering. The $10 entry fee goes to help support local farmers, businesses, and community.

For more information contact Ashley South, Outreach Coordinator, Montana Wilderness Association, (406)-291-2708, asouth@wildmontana.org.


Lincoln County Real Estate – August 2015 (posted 8/1/15)
Team Hayes Realtors—Alice & Jim Hayes
The figures of the Current Activity and Past Activity show we are moving forward. Our amazing warm and sunny weather puts sellers and buyers in the mood to think about selling and/or think about buying real estate. 2014 showed one more Residential SALES than 2013. 2014 showed Land SALES were three less than 2013. 2014 showed one more Commercial SALES than 2013. We are looking forward to keeping the SALES momentum moving throughout 2015!

ACTIVE LISTINGS
289 Residential ACTIVES:

111 in Libby
80 in Troy
12 in Yaak
15 in Flathead
71 in Sanders

364 Land ACTIVES:
124 in Libby
97 in Troy
19 in Yaak
32 in Flathead
92 in Sanders

34 Commercial ACTIVE:
16 in Libby
4 in Troy
1 in Yaak
2 in Flathead
11 in Sanders

January 1, 2015 to August 1, 2015 Current Real Estate figures:
SALES & PENDINGS
75 Residential SALES:

46 in Libby
14 in Troy
14 in Sanders
1 in Flathead

29 Land SALES:
9 in Libby
15 in Troy
3 in Yaak
1 in Flathead
1 in Sanders

4 Commercial SALES:
4 in Libby

39 Residential PENDING:
21 in Libby
7 in Troy
2 in Yaak
2 in Flathead
7 in Sanders

20 Land PENDING:
9 in Libby
3 in Troy
1 in Yaak
4 in Flathead
3 in Sanders

Commercial/M-Family: 1

PENDING: 1 in Flathead

So How Did Our Market Actually Do? Let’s Compare
January 1 to December 31, 2014

157 Residential SOLDS
53 Land SOLDS
8 Commercial SOLDS

January 1 to December 31, 2013
156 Residential SOLDS
56 Land SOLDS
7 Commercial SOLDS

January 1 to December 31, 2012
120 Residential SOLDS
33 Land SOLDS
6 Commercial SOLDS

January 1 to December 31, 2011
111 Residential SOLDS
37 Land SOLDS
7 Commercial SOLD

January 1 to December 31, 2010
93 Residential SOLDS
28 Land SOLDS
0 Commercial SOLDS

January 1 to December 31, 2009
82 Residential SOLDS
33 Land SOLDS
6 Commercial SOLDS

Interest rates remain at all-time LOWS. Inventory selections are growing.
NOW could be a great time to buy or sell!
As of 8/01/2015
Conforming & FHA Loans:
30- Year Fixed; Interest = 4.125%; APR= 4.155%
15- Year Fixed; Interest = 3.375%; APR=3.44%
(Per Wells Fargo)

Information obtained from Lincoln County MLS.
Team Hayes Real Estate
Alice and Jim Hayes
406-293-8364
406-293-1926
alice@alicehayes.com
jim@alicehayes.com
www.alicehayes.com


Libby lies in the northwest corner of Montana and is nestled in a valley carved by the Kootenai River on the flank of the majestic Cabinet Mountain Range and Wilderness Area. Today about 2,800 people live within Libby proper. The main industries are lumber and wood products, mining, tourism and recreation. The movies "The River Wild" and "Always" were filmed here. Contact the Libby Chamber of Commerce for brochures, info on lodging and events, general area information, and contact information for local businesses and services.

SUMMER
When the weather warms and the mountain snows melt away, the Kootenai National Forest comes alive with over 2.2 million acres of public land as a playground. Mountain trails and lakes open up, beautiful wildflowers come in bloom, and wildlife have their young. Libby is the basecamp for the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness Area, 90-mile long Lake Koocanusa, the Northwest Peaks Scenic Area, and the Ten Lakes Scenic Area. There is good access to most of the Forest and plenty of room to get away from it all!

WINTER
Winter in Montana means snow, and lots of it! For those who love to play in the deep powder, the Libby area offers tremendous winter fun. Turner Mountain Ski Area, located just 22 miles from Libby, offers challenging downhill skiing with a beautiful view. Their slogan is "steep, deep and cheap", and Turner definitely lives up to that. It's still fairly undiscovered, so you can escape the crowds and get the cheapest lift tickets around. For those who love snowmobiling, there are hundreds of miles of backcountry roads to sled on in the Kootenai National Forest. Cross-country skiers and ice fishermen also can find solitude on a lake and miles of quiet forest trails to enjoy the outdoors. Those who are a bit on the wild and crazy side will love the antics of the Libby Polar Bear Club. Members take winter-time "swims" in frigid Libby Creek every Sunday from October to April. Plungers have ranged in age from 3 to 61. As long as the ice can be broken on the creek, if it has formed, the group will take their plunge, no matter the temperature.

Libby Polar Bear Club
These people must be craaaazzzzzy!
Libby Polar Bear Club

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For more visitor information, please contact the
Libby Chamber of Commerce
www.libbychamber.org

406-293-4167
E-mail: libbyacc@libbychamber.org

Libby Chamber of Commerce is located right on Hwy 2 next to Rosauers.
Libby Montana Chamber of Commerce

We Love Libby!

Recreation Maps:

LibbyMt.com
LibbyMT.com, PO Box 940, Libby, MT 59923, 406-293-3608, e-mail: info@libbymt.com
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LibbyMT.com is designed and maintained by Wind River Web Services LLC. Photos by LibbyMT.com unless otherwise credited. Staff Photographer/Reporter is Maggie Craig.
Webmaster for this site is Dawn Ballou. LibbyMT.com is a web site designed to provide visitor information about the Libby, Montana and the Lincoln County, northwest Montana area. Our staff is small, but we try to cover as many local events as we can. We welcome photo and story contributions. We work with local community entities to provide the information on this web site. We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the content of this site, however errors may occur. Please contact us for more information or if you find any broken links on our site. We are members of the Libby Chamber of Commerce. We welcome your comments and suggestions about the content on this web site. Content and photos are copyright 2015, all rights reserved, and may not be reprinted, reproduced, or reused in printed form or electronic media (ie. other web sites or photos on CDs) without first obtaining permission. If you wish to use photos or reprint articles from our site, please contact us by e-mail or phone. Higher resolution versions of photos are available. Usually there is no charge for non-commercial and not-for-profit organization uses. Thank you for visiting Libby Montana on the Web!

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