The following is a press release from the Moose Meadows Incident Command Team:
This lightning caused fire was first detected on July 25 and is located 18 miles southeast of Philipsburg, MT in the Beaverhead Deerlodge National Forest. The fire is currently at 1600 acres. An evacuation of the Moose Lake and Kaiser Lake areas began this morning, July 28. There are 30 structures threatened at this time.
Yesterday’s Activity: Strong shifting winds in the late afternoon resulted in substantial fire growth to the east and smoke columns. A night shift battled blazes until 2 a.m. when fire activity calmed down. When the fire crossed Lone Pine Ridge, the Incident Management Team ( IMT), Granite County Sheriff and DES, made the decision to evacuate all residences south of the junction of Forest Service Road 5130 and the Middle Fork Road.
Current Resources: The number of firefighters on the incident is 250.. Resources assigned include six crews, five helicopters and support personnel.
Today’s Activity: The weather prediction is for lower temperatures and wind speeds that will allow for better access and improved conditions for crews to make progress. The fire continues to burn in heavy beetle killed timber that is predominantly lodgepole with some subalpine fir. Crews are working to establish hand line on the northwest and southwest flanks of the fire. Numerous water and cargo drops will be made by aircraft. As the sun begins to hit slopes, fire activity is expected to increase. Ground crews will begin implementing structure protection measures at Moose Lake and Kaiser Lake.
Special Messages/Closures: Evacuations are in place for all residences south of the intersection of FS 5130 with the Middle Fork Road. The Granite County Sheriff’s Office is in charge of all evacuations. People who are displaced may call the Department of Emergency Services at (406-360-1626). The fire area is closed to hiking and camping per Forest order No. 2013-D8-027. The following trails are closed: 8109, 8020, 8162, 8019 and 8161.