Meyers fire threatens Philipsburg
Posted on 05 September 2017
Fire is over 50,000 acres
The Meyers Fire in southwest Montana has grown to over 50,000 acres and is forcing evacuations near the town of Philipsburg.
Current Size: 53,737 acres
Resources Assigned: 334
Status: The fire is burning in mixed conifer stands, primarily lodgepole pine, Douglas fir, and subalpine fir, with numerous standing dead trees. There are residences still at risk in the Moose Lake, Frog Pond, Springer Memorial Park and Bonanza areas.
Yesterday’s Activities: Fire activity was high on the south and east sides of the fire with significant growth in Fishtrap Creek and Carpp Creek drainages. The fire has grown to the east of the Continental Divide on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge and Bitterroot National Forests. The fire grew over 15,000 acres. Indirect, contingency lines, and perimeter structure protection continued in the Frog Pond, Moose Lake, Springer Memorial Park and Bonanza Lands communities. Structure protection and life safety continue to be priorities. Engines and National Guard fire equipment are in place in the Moose Lake subdivision. The Granite County Sheriff ordered a mandatory evacuation for Moose Lake last night. Additional burning and chipping of fuels was completed around Frog Pond residential area. Crews worked to limit fire spread north of Zekes Meadow using helicopter water drops, but the old cabin in the meadow burned down.
Current Resources: Three 20-person crews, nineteen engines, four pieces of heavy equipment (skidgines, dozers, masticators), ten water tenders, and three helicopters. Total personnel: 334.
Today’s Activities: Temperatures will be lower today, in the mid 70’s and humidity will be slightly higher. The wind will switch and be out of the northeast. Fire activity is expected to moderate today. Across the fire, point protection for structures remains the priority. Sprinklers are in place and are continually tested. Construction will continue on hand and machine line around Springer Memorial Park and Bonanza Land residences. The line east from Zekes Meadow will be assessed to determine if it can be used for future burn out operations. Operations in Frog Pond area will bring the fire along the edges of meadows to further reduce fuels and secure the line. Engines and National Guard fire equipment is in place around Moose Lake.
Evacuations: The Frog Pond and Moose Lake areas are under an evacuation order. Additionally, an evacuation warning is in effect on East Fork Rd from FS Rd 5778 to Little East Fork Rd (FS RD 724) on the Bitterroot National Forest. Those under an evacuation warning should be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice.
Restrictions/Closures: Expanded closure orders were issued on both National Forests yesterday. Bitterroot National Forest emergency closure orders are in effect for upper areas of the East Fork Bitterroot River. Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest has an emergency closure order around the fire extending into the Anaconda Pintler Wilderness. A temporary flight restriction (TFR) is in effect surrounding the Meyers Fire area. Granite County is under Stage 2 fire restrictions for private lands in the county. Amended Stage 1 fire restrictions are in effect today which prohibits ALL campfires in southwestern Montana on public lands, including in fire rings and developed recreation areas. For information on fire restrictions, visit https://firerestrictions.us/mt/#
A public meeting for the Meyers Fire and Sapphire Complex will be held tonight, September 5, at 5:00 pm. It will be in the cafeteria at the Granite County High School, 407 Schnepel Street, Philipsburg. Representatives from the Beaverhead-Deerlodge and Lolo National Forests, Northern Rockies Incident Management Teams, and other local officials will be present to provide current information.