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Fire Update – July 14_ 2006

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Fire Update – July 14_ 2006 Powered By Docstoc
					                  TRAVEL MONTANA FIRE & DROUGHT UPDATE

                                         July 25, 2007

                                           12:00 p.m.



Current Drought-Related Restrictions as of: Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Montana fisheries managers are asking anglers to limit fishing on some Montana rivers due to
low flows and high water temperatures.

The restrictions are in place to protect Montana’s world-class wild trout fisheries. With increased
water temperatures and reduced river flows, catching and handling fish adds an additional stress
on the fish.

Anglers are encouraged to seek alternatives such as cooler parts of rivers, reservoirs, mountain
lakes and tributary streams where temperatures are not as high.




Mandatory Restrictions:

24-Hour Closure:

The following rivers are currently closed to fishing 24 hours a day:

Upper Big Hole River

             The closure encompasses the stretch of the river from Rock Creek
              Road (approximately five miles south of Wisdom) to the mouth of
              the North Fork (15 miles north of Wisdom).
             The remaining 137 miles of the Big Hole River are still open to
              angling.
                  Including the 35 miles upstream of the closed reach and 102
                    miles of the popular sport fishery downstream from the North
                    Fork to the mouth of the Big Hole River at Twin Bridges.

Blackfoot River Tributaries
          Belmont Creek, Copper Creek, Cottonwood Creek, Gold Creek,
            Landers Fork, Monture Creek, Morrell Creek and the North Fork
            Blackfoot River
2 p.m. to 12 midnight Closure:
Montana’s string of hot weather has led state officials to close a number of rivers
to fishing between the hours of 2 p.m. and midnight. The closures will remain in
effect until September 15 or when conditions improve significantly.

Bitterroot River
           Lower Bitterrroot from Tucker Crossing (near Victor) to the
             confluence with the Clark Fork River in Missoula.

Blackfoot River
          The entire Blackfoot River from the headwaters near Rogers Pass
            to the confluence with the Clark Fork River at Milltown.

Boulder River (Tributary of the Yellowstone River)
          8-Mile Bridge downstream to its confluence with the Yellowstone
            River

Clark Fork River
          137 miles of river from the mouth of Rock Creek near Clinton to the
            confluence with the Flathead River.

East Gallatin River
          East Gallatin River from its beginning (Rocky and Sourdough Creek
             confluence) to its confluence with the West Gallatin

Gallatin River
           The main stem of the Gallatin from the Interstate 90 bridge down-
             stream about 19 miles to the confluence with the Missouri River.

Jefferson River
          Entire river.

Madison River
         Lower main stem of the Madison River from Ennis Dam
           downstream to the mouth at Three Forks.

Shields River
          Shield's River from the headwaters to the confluence with the
            Yellowstone River

Smith River
             The entire 125-mile mainstem of the river, which flows from near
              White Sulphur Springs to the mouth near Ulm.

Stillwater River – NEW (Region 5, Central Fishing District)
              Rosebud Creek downstream to its confluence with the Yellowstone
               River

Sun River
          Sun River from Diversion Dam at the mouth of the Sun River
           Canyon to its mouth at Great Falls, 97 miles downstream.

Thompson River
        Entire river.

Yellowstone River
          Yellowstone River from the Yellowstone National Park boundary
            near Gardiner in Region 3 to the Huntley diversion downstream of
            Billings in Region 5.

For a map of fishing closures, visit:
http://fwp.mt.gov/content/getItem.aspx?id=19583

For further details on the restrictions, visit:
http://fwp.mt.gov/fishing/guide/waterclosure.aspx


Mandatory Restrictions:

Yellowstone National Park:

Effective Saturday, July 21, the following rivers and creeks within the park will be
closed to fishing between the hours of 2:00 pm and 5:00 am:

            Northern Yellowstone: Gardner River below Osprey Falls, Lava
             Creek below Undine Falls, Lamar River below Cache Creek, all of
             Slough Creek, Soda Butte Creek below Amphitheater Creek, and
             the Yellowstone River below Seven Mile Hole.
            West side of the park: Madison River, Firehole River below Keppler
             Cascades, and the Gibbon River below Gibbon Falls.
            Southern portion of Yellowstone: Bechler River below Ouzel Creek,
             Falls River below Rainbow Falls, Mountain Ash Creek below Union
             Falls, Proposition Creek, Boundary Creek below Dunanda Falls,
             Robinson Creek, and the Snake River below Six Mile Ford.

This fishing advisory will remain in effect until further notice.

Anglers are voluntarily being asked not to fish between 5:00 am and 2:00 pm in
these same waters in Yellowstone National Park.

Yellowstone NP Fishing Advisory Map
Current Fire Activity as of: Wednesday, July 25, 2007 - 12:00 pm

On July 16, Governor Schweitzer issued an executive order declaring a statewide emergency in
Montana "which warrants an aggressive initial attack on all wildland fire starts in Montana."

This order allows the Governor to mobilize state resources and the Montana National Guard to
fight fires as well as expend funds for emergency needs.

A map of locations of the major fires in Montana can be found at:
http://activefiremaps.fs.fed.us/

For the most up-to-date information on fires in Montana, visit:
http://www.inciweb.org/state/27/

Gold West Country:

AHORN FIRE – Lewis and Clark NF, near the Benchmark Trailhead and 30
miles west of Augusta. 14,900 acres.

            Structure-protection is in effect of buildings in Gibson Reservoir and
             Benchmark areas, West Fork Pack Bridge, Pretty Prairie, and
             Indian Point Cabins.

            An evacuation order is in effect for all residents from the
             Benchmark Trailhead area to the Wood Lake Campground. This
             portion of the road is now closed until further notice. “Pre-
             evacuation” notices have been issued to the Klick Ranch and
             Gibson Reservoir area

            The fire has crossed the West Fork of the South Fork of the Sun
             River and burned north into the Pretty Prairie Cabin area.

            Crews began constructing line from Benchmark Road in the Ford
             Creek area, north towards Gibson Reservoir. Crews are also
             burning around the Pretty Prairie cabin.

            A temporary flight restriction (TFR) is in place for a five-mile radius
             around the fire and 10,500 feet above ground level.

              Several trails have been temporarily closed for public safety in the
               fire area. The need for future closures will continue to be evaluated.
               Most of the area involved is in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, east of
               the Continental Divide. For trail closure information refer to the
               website contact the Lewis and Clark National Forest at (406) 791-
               7754 or click here for a list of Trail Closures and map:
               http://inciweb.org/incident/announcements/article/805/4167/
            Public bulletin boards about fire information is available at Senor
             Center and that the Post Office in Augusta.

          A public meeting will be held at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, July 25, at
           the Stage Stop Inn in Choteau concerning the Ahorn and Fool
           Creek fires.

PATTENGAIL CREEK FIRE – Beaverhead / Deerlodge NF. It is currently about
10 miles northeast of Wisdom in the Stone Lakes area. 4,256 acres

            The Beaverhead – Deerlodge National Forests (in the West
             Pioneer Mountains) has temporarily closed the area north of Lacy
             and McVey Creek and west of the Pioneer Mountains Scenic
             Byway all the way to the forest boundary east and south of
             Highway 43.

            The east Pioneers and south half of the west Pioneers remain open
             for recreation opportunities or contact the Beaverhead – Deerlodge
             National Forest (406) 83-3900 or http://www.fs.fed.us/r1/bdnf/ for
             information.

            Structure-protection assessment for the area is now being
             conducted. No structures are considered threatened at this time,
             and no evacuations have been ordered.

            The Beaverhead - Deerlodge National Forest will be entering Stage
             2 fire restrictions on Thursday, July 26th.

            A public meeting will be held at the Wise River Community Center,
             Wednesday, July 25th at 7:30 pm.


LITTLE WOLF CREEK – It is located 46 miles west of Great Falls, or 7 miles
west of Wolf Creek along Hwy 434. 570 acres.

            Structure-protection firefighters are assessing needs and “pre-
             evacuation notices” have been issued to area residents

            The fire is in “mop up” stage

NOVAK FIRE – It is located 10 miles southwest of Cascade, located near I-15,
exit 244. 1,750 acres.
           Structure protection is underway. The fire is now 50% contained
            Portions for I-15 northbound may experience one-lanes due to fire
             spotting and smoke, but are currently open.

            NOTE: Vehicles traveling on I-15 should not stop to view or
             photograph the fire. Motorists should be driving with their lights on
             at safe driving speeds.

MERIWETHER FIRE – It is the Gates of the Mountains Wilderness Area and the
Helena National Forest, about 37 miles northwest of Helena. 2,000 acres

            National Forest officials have temporarily closed the Gates of the
             Mountains Wilderness Area, as well as Coulter Campground along
             the Missouri River.

            Meriwether day use area and the Gates of the Mountains Boat Tour
             are open. Campgrounds along Holter Reservoir (BLM) remain
             open.

            “Moderate suppression” methods are being used for unsafe
             firefighting conditions, as the fire is in rugged terrain and dense
             fuels.


Russell Country:

FOOL CREEK FIRE – It is located in the Fool Creek drainage of the upper North
Fork Sun River in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, approximately 36 miles west of
Choteau. Fire is completely within the Bob Marshall Wilderness. 5,706 acres on
the Lewis & Clark National Forest and 558 acres on the Flathead National
Forest.

            The Fool Creek Fire is expected to be a long-term event that will
             require management until the end of fire season in the fall.

            There is a temporary flight restriction (TFR) in place in a 10 mile
             radius around the fire.

            Several trails have been temporarily closed for public safety in the
             fire area. Most of the area involved is in the Bob Marshall
             Wilderness, east of the Continental Divide. The need for future
             closures will continue to be evaluated. For trail closure information
             refer to the Flathead National Forest website
             (http://www.fs.fed.us/r1/flathead) or contact the Rocky Mountain
             Ranger District Office (406) 466-5341 or the Spotted Bear Ranger
             District Office (406)758-5376 or click here for a list of Trail Closures
             -- http://www.inciweb.org/incident/announcements/article/776/4081/

            A public meeting will be held at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, July 25 at
             the Stage Stop Inn in Choteau concerning the Ahorn and Fool
             Creek fires.

Glacier Country:

CONGER FIRE – (NEW) Lightening fire began on July 15, approximately 20
         miles north of Ovando. 350 acres
            A wildland fire use module is currently on site establishing
             communications and preparing fire maps.

            Structure protection crews are moving into the North Fork
             Trailhead, Cabin and Bridge, in case fire continues to progress
             towards the area.

GARCEAU FIRE – (NEW) – Located 11 miles southwest of Polson. 3,000 acres

            Evacuation and standby notices given to Irvine Flats area residents

            Structure protection is in place.


SKYLAND FIRE – (NEW) – The fire is located inside the Great Bear Wilderness,
          about 13 miles east of Essex and 3 miles south of Marias pass.
          420 acres

            The following trails and roads are temporarily closed or restricted:
                 Skyland Road No. 569 that accesses Great Bear Wilderness
                    on the Mission Creek and Granite Creek Trails
                 Mule Ridge, East Skyland, Elk Calf Mountain and Puzzle
                    Ridge Trails
                 Alternative access and trails options are available by
                    contacting the Hungry Horse Ranger District at (406) 387-
                    3800.
Yellowstone National Park:

              NOTE: Fire restrictions are now in place in Yellowstone National
               Park. For details, go to http://www.nps.gov/yell/parknews/0734.htm
           
OWL FIRE – This backcountry fire in Yellowstone National Park is 45 miles south
of Bozeman, along the Montana / Wyoming border away from roads and
developed areas. 1,200 acres

              All visitor services, park entrances and roads are open.

              The Specimen Creek Trailhead and other trails and backcountry
               campsites are temporarily closed. Details are available at (307)
               344-2160 or (307) 344-2580 or
               www.nps.gov/yell/parkmgmt/firemanagement.htm

              A temporary flight restriction (TFR) is in airspace over the Owl Fire.



 Current Air Quality as of: Wednesday, July 25, 2007 – 12:00 pm

Montana DEQ will be issuing daily forest fire smoke updates for the duration of
summer. The reports are generally posted before noon. Occasional afternoon
updates may be posted if deemed necessary. Residents experiencing smoke
impacts should use the VISIBILITY GUIDELINES to evaluate their situation and
guide their actions.

The primary cause of smoke is from Idaho fires and some Montana fires,
depending on location.

Wednesday, July 25th Air Quality was updated at 10:00 a.m. at
http://www.deq.state.mt.us/FireUpdates/index.asp



Current Fire Restrictions as of: Wednesday, July 25, 2007 - 12:00 pm

This link provides a useful state map visual of current fire restrictions. It is
updated whenever there is a change in restriction status.
http://fwphlnweb001/content/getItem.aspx?id=28381

              Numerous Montana state parks and fishing access across the state
               are under Stage I fire restrictions.
                    For a complete list, go to:
                     http://fwp.mt.gov/drought/firestatus.aspx

             The following counties are under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions:
                  Beaverhead, Big Horn, Broadwater, Carbon, Deer Lodge,
                     Flathead, Granite, Hill, Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, Lincoln
                     Madison, Meagher, Mineral, Missoula, Musselshell, Ravalli,
                     Powell, Sanders, Silver Bow, Stillwater, Sweet Grass, and
                     Yellowstone. In addition, parts of Lake, Gallatin and Park are
                     under Stage 1 restrictions as well.

                    Glacier National Park

              Beginning July 27, the following counties will have Stage 1 Fire
              Restrictions:
                     Blain, Chouteau, Daniels, Fergus, Golden Valley, Judith,
                     Petroleum, Phillips, Roosevelt, Sheridan, Valley, and
                     Wheatland.

             The following counties are under Stage 2 Fire Restrictions:
                  Lake, Mineral, Missoula, Ravalli, Sanders, Treasure and
                     parts of Madison, Missoula, and Gallatin.

              Beginning July 30, the following counties will have Stage 2 Fire
              Restrictions:
                     Portions of Lincoln and Flathead County

             Portions of Lewis & Clark County and Flathead County located in
              the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area have a “closed” fire restriction.

Stage 1 Restrictions:

The following acts are prohibited until further notice:
• Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire except within a
developed recreation site or improved site.
• Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation
site or while stopped in an area at least three (3) feet in diameter that is barren or
cleared of all flammable materials.


Stage 2 Restrictions:

The following acts are prohibited until further notice:
• Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire.
• Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation
site or while stopped in an area at least three (3) feet in diameter that is barren or
cleared of all flammable materials.
The following acts are prohibited from 1:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.:
• Operating any internal combustion engine.
• Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.
• Using an explosive.
• A patrol is required for two hours following cessation of all work as
described above.
• Operating motorized vehicles off designated roads and trails.

This link provides a user-friendly guide intended to clarify various activities
allowed/restricted under Stage 1 and Stage 2 Fire Restrictions and Closures.
2007 Fire Restrictions/Quick Closure Reference Guide

_______________________________________________________________

Fire Talking Points

      Montana has over 147,000 square miles and 93 million acres to enjoy.
       Even if there are some fires within the state, there are plenty of other
       areas to recreate within Montana’s borders that will be unaffected.

      Montana experiences forest and prairie wildfires as a consequence of its
       landscape; the fact that large expanses of our state have remained
       unsettled and undeveloped. Ironically, this is what draws many people to
       Montana. We are learning to accept wildfires as an inevitable result of
       living so close to natural and wild areas. We are adapting and developing
       steps designed to deal with these acts of nature.

      Stress what is still OPEN in the area versus what is closed.

      When speaking with the media regarding facts:

          o Use non-threatening terminology such as “precautionary
            evacuation” or “temporary closure”.

          o When talking about size of the fire or number of acres involved use
            percentages rather than numbers.

          o If evacuations are in place, distinguish between “voluntary
            evacuations” and “mandatory evacuations”

          o Stress that any closures are “temporary” or “only partial closures”

          o Accentuate the positive. Fire does have a natural role in ecology.
   If a fire is burning near a town or resort on a traveler’s itinerary, several
    sources of information and assistance are available. Travel Montana has
    travel counselors who can offer information and advice over the telephone
    Mondays through Fridays from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m., Mountain time, at 800-
    VISIT-MT (800-847-4868) and our website www.visitmt.com provides a
    wealth of information as well.

				
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