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Fires in northwest Montana
Most small
August 9, 2006

More than 25 fire starts resulting from recent lightning activity across Northwest Montana are being responded to by Flathead and Kootenai National Forests, Glacier National Park, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation and rural fire departments in Flathead, Lake, Lincoln and Sanders Counties.

Most of the fires are small in size, with the largest at approximately 10 acres on the Kootenai National Forest, approximately 10 miles northwest of Libby.

The agencies are continuing detection efforts and the public is encouraged to contact their local fire department or public land management office to report smoke or fire.

Prior to the Tuesday night’s lightning, the agencies and rural fire departments responded to several suspected human-caused fires. These fires were suspected to be from abandoned campfires, discarded cigarettes and incidents related to agricultural activities and huckleberry picking.

Stage I Fire Restrictions continue for Northwest Montana, including all lands within Flathead and Lincoln Counties, plus that portion of Lake County outside the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Lands, plus all lands administered by the Kootenai National Forest, Flathead National Forest and Glacier National Park. These administrative boundaries include portions of Sanders County, west of Whitepine, Glacier, Missoula and Powell Counties.

Anyone causing a wildfire can be held financially responsible for damages and the cost of putting out that fire.

For more information, visit http://www.fs.fed.us/r1/fire/nrcg/ or contact a local Forest Service, Department of Natural Resources and Conservation or National Park Service Office or your local fire department.

Red Eagle Fire Update-Glacier National Park
Size: 28,500 acres, estimated 65% contained. The estimated fire perimeter is over 56 miles.
Location: Blackfeet Reservation and Glacier National Park, near St. Mary, Montana
Cause: Under investigation
Resources in fire: 718 personnel, 4 helicopters, 36 engines, 7 bulldozers, 9 water tenders
Current situation: Three structures have been lost, and no injuries have been reported. Drivers are reminded NOT to stop in the fire zone, with the exception of graveled turnouts. Any side roads off the fire area are closed to public travel due to fire fighters and fire equipment in the area. A 35 mph speed limit is in effect for Highway 89 south of St. Mary through this zone and near the Fire Camp. Approximately 53% (15,000 acres) of the fire is on Blackfeet Tribal Trust Lands, 47% (13,455 acres) is in Glacier National Park, and less than 1%, (45 acres) of the fire is on private land within the Blackfeet Nation.

FIRE RESTRICTIONS in Glacier National Park There is a ban on building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire in the backcountry of Glacier National Park and in the front country campgrounds at Quartz Creek and Cutbank. Liquid petroleum and LPG stoves are permissible. In addition, smoking is prohibited in the backcountry, including all areas beyond a trailhead.

Information about Glacier National Park is available at www.nps.gov/glac or by calling (406) 888-7800. Information on this incident can also be found on the internet at www.inciweb.org.

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