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Kootenai National Forest announces Bull Gin Complex closures

by SCOTT SHINDLEDECKER
The Western News | September 4, 2022 10:00 AM

Fourteen lightning-caused fires were the result of the storm activity on Aug. 31 in Northwest Montana.

While many were contained and controlled, Kootenai National Forest officials decided on the evening of Friday, Sept. 2 to combine the Isabella Lake, Government, Billiard and the North Star fires into the Bull Gin Complex.

The decision was made due to complexities and proximity of the four fires. The approximate acreage of the complex is 240 acres. A Type 2 Incident Management Team is on order and on its way to the Cabinet District on the Kootenai National Forest.

The local Type 3 organization is coordinating with county officials, identifying and assessing access points for direct and indirect attack, constructing shaded fuel breaks along Road 150 from the private section to the Government Creek crossing, and identify point protection needs on Government Road.

Similar suppression strategies and objectives for the Billiard/North Star fire in the Fatman Mountain/Blue Creek area are in effect. Although red flag warnings were predicted in Saturday’s weather forecast, the fires saw minimal growth and most of the growth included the fire burning back into itself.

Crews will continue work on Government Road, contacting homeowners, and identify drop points and lookout points. Closures are in effect for pubic and firefighter safety.

Smoke in the Kootenai and Clark Fork Valley is from fires in Idaho, California, Washington and Oregon being transported into Northwest Montana.

Here is a compilation of the fires, size, locations and status on Sept. 3 from Kootenai National Forest fire officials:

  • Everett Fire, one-tenth of an acre in the Ziegler Mountain Area. The fire was controlled on Sept. 2 and is in patrol status;
  • Cheer Creek, one-quarter acre in the Bear Creek Area. The fire was contained on Sept. 3;
  • Bear Creek, one acre in the Bear Creek Area. The fire was controlled on Sept. 2 and is in patrol status;
  • Copper Creek, five acres in the McConnell Mountain area. The fire is lined and about 50 resources are assigned to it;
  • Doe Creek, one-tenth of an acre in the Doe Creek area. It was controlled on Sept. 1 and is in patrol status;
  • Schrieber Lake, one-tenth of an acre in the Schrieber Lake area. The fire was extinguished on Sept. 2;
  • Williams Creek, 1.6 acres in the Williams Creek area. The fire was contained on Sept. 2 and resources are assigned to it;
  • Upper Schrieber, one-tenth of an acre in the Coyote Creek area. The fire was controlled in Sept. 2 and is in patrol status;
  • Brush Creek, one-tenth of an acre in the Preacher Mountain area It was put out on Sept. 3;
  • Dunn, one-tenth of an acre in the Dunn Creek area. It was controlled on Sept. 1 and is in patrol status.

photo

A map of closure orders for the Bull Gin Fire Complex on the Kootenai National Forest. (Kootenai National Forest photo)