Governor Schweitzer visits West Riverside Fire
West Riverside Afternoon Update Aug 24
Current activity on the West Riverside fire. The fire is slowly backing down steep rugged terrain toward the Blackfoot River on the south side of the fire. On the west side of the fire crews are completing a burnout to strengthen firelines north to Woody Mountain, with the intent of keeping the fire out of Marshall Canyon. The burnout operation is causing increased smoke. The spot fire in the Johnson Creek drainage is 70 to 80 percent lined. Crews continue to strengthen line and cool hotspots aided by helicpoter water bucket drops.
Fire mangers provide briefing on fires around the state
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, August 24, 2011
CONTACT: Sarah Elliott 406-444-9725 or Jayson O’Neill 406-444-9844
(HELENA) - Governor Brian Schweitzer met with fire officials at the West Riverside Fire today to discuss that incident and others burning around the state. The West Riverside Fire is estimated at 2000 acres and 10% contained.
Representatives from the incident management team presented an operations update and discussed the extreme fire behavior observed on the fire which has been fueled by high temperatures, low humidity and gusty winds.
After a relatively quiet fire season to date, activity picked up significantly this week, and the Montana DNRC and its partners are managing several large fires around the state. There are three fires in the state staffed with Type 2 Incident Management Teams, and a fourth burning into the state from Wyoming south of Red Lodge. Additionally, DNRC and its partners are managing several smaller fires while also preparing for initial attack of new fires which will be inevitable with the weather forecast calling for dry thunderstorms and lightning in several areas around Montana.
“Clearly, we are into an active fire season which will likely last for several weeks,” said Schweitzer, who took the opportunity to call upon Montanans to do their part to prevent human-caused fires. “Firefighters have all they can handle with existing fires, the weather and the threat of dry lightning. Please remember that conditions are becoming extreme – even driving your vehicle through dry grass has the potential to ignite a fire. Check to see if there are fire restrictions; be careful with campfires or any activity that has the potential to cause a fire. We need to be diligent in our efforts until we see a significant change in the weather.”