The Wedge Creek Wildfire in Montana was detected August 8, 2012 and was caused by lightning. The fire size according to GPS technology is currently at 1,247 acres. The fire is 0% contained.
According to Inciweb this fire is burning in steep terrain, heavy timber and around rock outcroppings in a remote un-roaded area about two miles south of the Scapegoat Wilderness boundary. The fire is producing a smoke column visible from highway 200. The fire is burning more actively in the Hayden Creek area. Fuels are currently at critically low moisture levels for this time of the year.
The weather for today is forecasted to be sunny, warm and dry with a high near 78. Afternoon south winds are forecasted to be 6 to 11 mph yet should become light and variable in the evening but gust as high as 20 mph are expected. Winds continue to push the fire to the north east into the previously burned Conger Fire area that occurred in 2007 which has very sparse vegetation and will not result in any significant spread if the fire gets established in that area (see aerial photo). Humidity indexes are expected to drop into the low teens, very dry. No water or retardant drops were used yesterday. Due to heavy fuel loadings with intermittent bug-killed trees, steep slopes and inaccessible terrain it is unsafe to have crews on the ground. One light helicopter is assigned to the fire and is used mostly for recon. At this time, actions will continue to engage the fire in a way that will not place firefighters in danger. No private structures or property are currently threatened by the fire. Two remote Forest Service cabins and two trail system bridges are threatened.
Thursday’s air quality is expected to be clearer allowing the Incident Commander a better look at the fire while doing the reconnaissance flight observing the fire. A GPS perimeter data was not collected yesterday. Management will continue to engage the fire in a way that will not place firefighters in danger and utilize aircraft to observe fire behavior. The Incident Commander is discussing options for area closures with Seeley Lake Ranger District Recreation and Resource Advisers. No additional Trail Closures are expected and will most likely be created around the fire perimeter.
Current closures near the fire:
Fenn Mountain Trail #88 the entire trail, beginning in T 16 N, R 12 W, Section 3.
Conger Point Trail #468 the entire trail, beginning in T 17 N, R 11 W, Section 31.
Dwight Creek Trail #414 from the junction with Conger Point Trail #468 to Omar Mountain T 17 N, R 12 W, Section 14.
Wedge Creek Fire – North Aspect – Aug. 29, 2012 Seeley Lake Ranger District
Conger Creek Trail #403 from the junction with Conger Point Trail #468 T 17 N, R12 W, Sec. 23 to the junction with Canyon Point Trail #1437 T17 N, R 11 W, Sec. 29.
The Incident contact is Anne Rys-Sikora at (406) 370-3378. The agency in charge is USDA Lolo National Forest in cooperation with Powell County Sheriff Department.
For online information about the Wedge Creek Wildfire visit http://inciweb.org/incident/3191/